Jamaica Rum Festival moves to Montego Bay for June 2022 staging
Thousands of patrons at the the Jamaica Rum Festival at Hope Gardens in 2019.

The 2022 staging of the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Festival will be staged in a hybrid format, with both digital access and the return of the physical staging on Saturday, June 25, 2022.

It follows the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) in April.

This year, the festival will be hosted in Jamaica’s tourism capital, Montego Bay, St James at Harmony Beach Park.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, during his remarks last month at the launch of the festival’s fourth staging, explained why Montego Bay was the ideal location for the event.

He said, “[Jamaica] is the fastest-growing tourist destination following the COVID-19 recovery. No wonder Montego Bay was voted the second most popular city in the world, second only to Punta Cana with a growth of 136 per cent.”

“For the first three months [of the year], and now approaching the fourth, Jamaica is now on the verge of having its first million visitors and earning US$1.5 billion,” he added, speaking to the success and potential of Montego Bay, which will be leveraged with events like the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Festival.

The event is being presented in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism through its agencies the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Jamaica Tourist Board and will serve as a significant milestone for the entertainment industry as it fully reopens.

Noting the inextricable link between rum and Jamaican life, Pietro Gramegna, Director of Marketing, J Wray & Nephew Ltd explained: “The rum industry is of paramount significance to Jamaica’s cultural fabric and its socio-economic well-being.”

“The lesson learnt from last year’s virtual experience has enabled us to get better at digital engagement. This will remain, sustaining our long-term global reach: from Jamaica to the world! And, on top of that, this year we will be live from our new home, Montego Bay, the country’s tourism capital, where we expect to have more visitors from abroad coming to Jamaica,” he said.

“We look forward to reigniting the spirit of personal connections in a controlled and responsible manner, which has not been easy to plan with a fluctuating covid positivity rate over the past couple of months,” Gramegna added.

The festival director and CEO of Mystique Integrated Services Limited, Valón Thorpe, was pleased that the festival will engage its patrons in a physical setting this year.

“The Jamaica Rum Festival is a celebration of a storied history of our convivial spirit, and growing awareness and appreciation of the unique processes which make our rums well-regarded worldwide,” Thorpe said.

“Last year we were able to successfully pivot to a virtual staging with over 1 million persons tuning in to watch, and impressions in the millions. This year we are able to once again host patrons physically where they can directly engage their senses in real-time to experience our rums.”

The collaborative event will see the support of presenting sponsor Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, and other Jamaican rum brands including the 90-year-old Spirits Pool Association Limited, Hampden Estate, National Rums of Jamaica, Worthy Park Estate, Monymusk Plantation Rums, Rum Fire, Rum Bar, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, and Kingston 62, who will underscore the unique characteristics of Jamaican rums and the high standards of production which helped shape and refine the manufacturing process.

These brands will be hosting rum tastings and other interactive activities within the space. Patrons of the festival will journey from cane to cocktails as they are exposed to the rum-making process and the unique provenance of Jamaican rums.

The 2022 staging also promises interactive seminars, demonstrations, culturally immersive activities, Jamaican gastronomy, and phenomenal live entertainment from the likes of Capleton, Sanchez, Romaine Virgo, Tessanne Chin and more.

A suite of culturally immersive activities will also be featured during the festival, giving locals and tourists alike, a deeper appreciation of Jamaican heritage and culture.

Other Key sponsors of the festival include the RJR | Gleaner Group, Main Event Entertainment Group, Mystique Integrated, Scotia Bank, Wisynco’s Wata, Cran Wata, Coca Cola and True Juice, CB Foods, Barcode, iPrint, Pure National Ice and the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience.

Must be 18 years or older to participate and drink. Drink responsibly.

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