No Shaggy & Friends
Popular charity show will not be staged in 2020 due to artiste's scheduleSunday, September 29, 2019
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
There will be no staging of the biennial charity showcase Shaggy & Friends in January next year.
The event, which is staged by diamond-selling reggae artiste Shaggy to raise funds for the Bustamante Hospital for Children , the country's lone paediatric hospital, was first held on January 3, 2009. The event was then staged one year later in 2010 after which it was decided that the concert would be staged every two years due to the huge demands on the artiste's time to produce an event of its scale and calibre. Since then concerts have been held in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. However, there will be none in 2020.
Speaking to the Observer while on tour with British reggae band UB40, Shaggy noted that his current schedule will not allow him the time and energy required to plan the concert which was due in 2020.
“The truth is it just won't happen next year as we would have liked it to. Shaggy & Friends is a huge undertaking which takes months of planning and literally consumes our lives. With all that is happening now with my career including back to back tours and my work on the live TV version of The Little Mermaid, I am booked solid all the way into March of next year. So, unfortunately I really don't have the time to wrap my head around planning the event this year. Yes I have a team , but quite a bit of what happens for that one night rest on my shoulders and those close to me. The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation will continue its work with the Bustamante Hospital, but we will just have to find other creative ways to bring the vision to life without the effort and work required for a concert of that nature,” he explained.
Shaggy noted that although he has not been able to put much thought into what he will do to raise funds for his pet project, fund for the hospital could be raised through efforts such as gala dinners, product endorsements with part proceeds for the sale of said product going to the hospital, show and special performances with proceeds going to the hospital.
“I really just need to sit down and work out what it is that I will be able to do given the limited spare time that I currently have. But as I speak of concerts and performances, these are looking to be more feasible as this would bring US dollars in, as opposed to raising funds locally then converting in order to buy the equipment required by the hospital... it's something I have to think about and decide what we'll do now that the concert is off,” he shared.
The 2018 edition of the concert netted $100 million dollars which was used to provide more equipment for the hospital. Shaggy said that the facility is always in need of equipment and therefore the work must continue.
“We work off a needs list provided by the hospital. We raise the funds, order the equipment, bring it into the country through the international charity Food For the Poor and deliver to Bustamante. Everything is documented and therefore we are ready for any audit that anyone wants to bring in our direction. The last time we really wanted to raise funds to build an ICU (intensive care unit) but the truth is we have no land space. I did not really wish to get into the politics and bureaucracy needed for us to source a plot of land from the hospital's neighbour, the JDF (Jamaica Defence Force), so I decided to stick to our core purpose which is providing the much-needed equipment for the hospital,” Shaggy said
Over the years, an impressive raft of local and international acts have graced the stage at what has become an eagerly anticipated item on the local entertainment calendar. Acts such as Sting, Lauryn Hill, Macy Gray, Deniece Williams, En Vogue, NeYo, Boyz II Men, Wyclef Jean, Tessanne Chin, Romain Virgo, Nadine Sutherland, Third World, Christopher Martin, Allison Hinds, Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, and Fay-Ann Lyons have graced the stage.