Sunsplash's third coming

Observer writer

Thursday, January 03, 2019

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Backers of the revamped Reggae Sunsplash promise that its third coming will be bigger and better.

Chief Executive Officer of eMedia Interactive Tyrone Wilson told the Jamaica Observer that details of the festival will be announced this month.

“We are planning a press conference in mid-January where we expect to lay out more details of the festival including various additions,” he said.

The inaugural event took place June 23-30, 1978 at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay. It was promoted on the proverbial shoestring budget by Synergy, a company that comprised Tony Johnson, Ronnie Burke, Don Green, and John Wakeling.

Sunsplash was last held in 2006 in St Ann. The Guardsman Group and eMedia Interactive Group Ltd have taken over the mantle and will act as main producers for the show.

Though it was reported that the next staging will be in St Ann, Wilson said this is not a definite location as they are looking into other options.

“The entertainment calendar has changed over the years. Choosing the right period to have the festival is probably the hardest decision, but we believe we've found a date that works. This too will be revealed at the press conference,” he stated.

Reggae Sunsplash has been known to showcase traditional reggae artistes such as Bob Marley who performed at the second staging in 1979.

Wilson insists the show will stay true to its roots, but also highlight the genre's evolution.

“Reggae as a genre has evolved and the festival will showcase the evolution of the music, while honouring the signature sounds of the festival's history,” he said.

The CEO believes that through hosting Reggae Sunsplash, they will compete with international festivals that replicated the show's concept with significant success.

“Locally, we need more festivals. This was raised by Beres Hammond in a recent interview in October of 2018. As the creators of this powerful musical genre, Jamaica ought to be hosting its own festivals so people from all over the world can attend … like Rototom, Sun Ska, and even Coachella,” said Wilson.

He also told the Observer that although he is young, the history of Reggae Sunsplash coupled with a new team of trailblazers in the entertainment industry, are the necessary ingredients for a quality and authentic Reggae Sunsplash.

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