Sashi Music Festival to return with exclusive dancehall night and star-studded lineup
Sashi, the iconic music festival that wowed audiences with its high-octane lineup of international stars, will add a new element to their lineup with the inclusion of an official Dancehall Night as the event is set to return to Ocho Rios, St Ann, from May 23-26, 2024.
“For the first time ever, we’re going to have an authentic dancehall night with the creme de la creme of dancehall acts, the most popular dancehall acts, one whole night dedicated to our own indigenous artform, it will be a celebration of dancehall’s rise,” a source told Observer Online.
Sashi is returning 22 years after its last staging at the James Bond Beach in Oracabessa, St Mary. The introduction of a Dancehall Night marks a clear evolution in the music festival known for showcasing top R&B and rap acts alongside dancehall stars.
In 2002, Sashi featured superstars like Usher, P Diddy, Eve, Busta Rhymes, Donell Jones, Tyrese, Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Kim, Ginuwine, Wyclef Jean, Super Cat, Shabba Ranks, Bling Dawg, T.O.K and Dawn Penn.
Though an artist lineup is yet to be announced for 2024, organisers have promised “a sizzling lineup that will include more than a dozen top R&B, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and reggae superstars.”
Aside from the main concert event, which is scheduled for Plantation Cove in St Ann, there will be a night dedicated to R&B, hip hop and Afrobeats, as well as dancehall.
“This will be our 25th anniversary and we will have between eight or nine international acts. Half of the line-up has already been confirmed,” Horatio Hamilton, the main force behind the Sashi Experience Festival, said in an earlier interview.
“Sashi has been synonymous with changing the landscape of events in Jamaica. We were the first to bring multiple overseas acts to the island,” Hamilton added.
Sashi made its debut in 1999 but was last staged in 2002. At the height of its popularity, the event attracted more than 15,000 patrons, according to a report in Billboard magazine in 2001.
Sashi had its last hurrah in 2002 as Hamilton was indicted in federal court as the leader of a multimillion-dollar, New York-to-LA marijuana-trafficking ring. He fought the charges to the end but in 2006, he was convicted by a jury after a trial of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. He was ordered to forfeit US$10 million and a house in Encino, California.
After spending 16 years and 10 months behind bars, Hamilton was released from the McRae Correctional Institution in Georgia on November 4, 2021.