Int'l Reggae Day strums for 2020

Int'l Reggae Day strums for 2020

By Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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Andrea Davis, conceptualiser of International Reggae Day (IRD), has put this year's staging behind her and is already looking to 2020.

She was, however, unwilling to share the details but said the theme is confirmed and plans are in the making for a number of cities.

This year's events, Davis reported, met the targets of the annual 24-hour global media celebration of the best of Jamaica's music and culture, with participating media in a variety of countries, including Jamaica, The Bahamas, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Columbia, and the United Kingdom.

“Endorsed events in Kingston complementing the 24-hour media festival included the Alliance Francaise's Fete de la Musique concert and an IRD forum at UWI, 'Assessing the State of Reggae Music in Jamaica 50 Years After Its Emergence', with presentations from Ibo Cooper, Dr Michael Barnettt, Dr Lisa Tomlinson, Denise 'Isis' Miller and myself. The IRD 2019 salute to Reggae Sunsplash included a Trailblazer Award presented to Synergy Production's Ronnie Burke for the development of the groundbreaking, market-building legacy. The Kingston Creative City of Music logo was also unveiled at the UWI IRD Forum by Gillian Wilkinson-McDaniel, senior director of entertainment in the Ministry of Culture Gender Entertainment and Sports,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Started in 1978, Reggae Sunsplash was held annually until 1996, with a final event in 1998 before it was revived in 2006 then discontinued. It is regarded as the template for reggae festivals today.

Davis further said that International Reggae Day has met its targets and is fulfilling its mandate.

“IRD is an organic movement that has provided a dynamic platform for Jamaica's creative brands to connect with the world. At the same time, IRD has become a rallying point on the calendar for the international Jamaican music industry, social media, reggae-friendly media, reggae fraternities, and fans in markets like London, Nairobi, New York, New Delhi, Durban, Johannesburg, Lima, So Paulo, Belize City, Nassau, Auckland, Bali ,and Shanghai, which have embraced Jamaican music and identify with reggae culture. July 1 has further united, inspired and uplifted the global reggae community in celebration of Jamaican music culture,” said Davis.

Despite its international appeal and reach, it is widely believed that Jamaicans are yet to feel the pull of this event. For this, Davis shared her optimism about the growth of IRD.

“IRD is a movement that shines a spotlight on Kingston as the home of Jamaican music and on the best of Jamaica's creative culture, so my hope is that Jamaicans will embrace JulyOne as another opportunity to show love for our culture and to reinforce our brand position in the world as the culturally authentic home of reggae music. For the international Jamaican music industry and global reggae fraternity, the hope is that July 1 will continue to grow as an internationally celebrated day and provide opportunity for greater inspection, connection, appreciation, recognition and direction required to improve the development and growth of the creative activists and entrepreneurs worldwide inspired by Jamaican music culture,” she said.

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