Beyond Reggae Sumfest: The ‘festivalisation’ of Jamaica’s music and cities

Donovan Watkis
Sunday, July 30, 2017


Excerpts from the article….
The recent success of Reggae Sumfest could be replicated in communities across the island. If the success of Reggae Sumfest is any example to go by, the artistes, Government, and other festival producers should look towards liberalising the development of Jamaica’s music industry one community at a time. With weekly or monthly live festivals that are unique to each community, new life could be injected into the whole country. The artistes would have more spaces to rehearse, and there would be an improvement in the quality of artistic output from their recordings and performances. It is in our nature to sing, to dance, and to celebrate. So why not make community building a more holistic experience, where people will be genuinely interested in their development through regular festivals for the benefit of all?

Jamaican artistes still manage to deliver the best shows and make some of the most inspiring music for the world. Recently I saw Beenie Man, Sizzla and Jah Cure entertain the crowd at a world-class level at the Reggae Sumfest 2017, for over an hour each. Their sets didn’t require any lights or backdrop fanfare because they performed in the early morning sunlight. It was more than spectacular to watch them with just a band, a stage, the audience, and a mic.

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