The Jamaica Observer writes that planning has begun for next year’s staging of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The 2018 installation should see a revamped and exciting event that aims “to boost the nation’s spirit during the Independence period and beyond.”
Interim executive director at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Orville Hill said the agency has decided to move quite early with the planning, as every effort is being made to reposition and restore the competition to its former glory.
The event was postponed this year due to the poor standard of the entries. Hill explained a lot of thought is now going into restructuring some elements of the competition, including emphasis on getting more professional and semi-professional performers to enter, as well as refining the format and judging criteria.
“We see Festival as one of the flagship products of the Independence celebrations. We know the great lift in the national spirit that comes from having a popular Festival Song that the entire nation can sing and dance to. It goes a long way in reminding us of the rich and diverse musical culture and heritage that Jamaica has been blessed with. Our duty is to restore confidence, anticipation, and participation from the general public at home and in the Diaspora,” he said.
Senior performer and broadcaster and a former JCDC talent competition participant Vernon Derby, who is also a JCDC commissioner, has been drafted in to assist with shaping next year’s event. Hill said the success of the venture depends on getting the right mix of individuals, experiences and talents working in sync. [. . .]
[Photo above: Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals.]
For full article, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/festival-2018_114030?profile=1116