For the past 11 years February has been designated Reggae Month, and plans are already in place for the events surrounding this year’s observances. Here are details from the Jamaica Observer:
The activities for Reggae Month are coordinated by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), and its chairman, Ibo Cooper [shown above], said plans are coming together for the celebrations which start in approximately three weeks.
“This year marks the 11th anniversary of Reggae Month and it is also the 10th year that we are doing the Honour Awards, so we are looking forward to that. Over the years we have seen a slow but certain growth in acceptance of the celebrations. A lot more people are getting the vision and coming together with us to promote this thing called reggae here during the month. We will see a return of the popular events and activities used to commemorate the month over the past 11 years. Reggae Wednesday, the midweek concert, returns. The Trench Town Music Festival and the Dennis Brown Birthday celebrations will also come back this year,” said Cooper.
He said that as it relates to the Dennis Brown event, commitment and sponsorship are already in place, so the event which has been postponed or cancelled in previous years will be held in February. “With Kingston and the Creative City designation from UNESCO, we are getting a lot more support. So, for example, the Reggae Wednesdays will continue in Mandela Park and the ministries of tourism, culture, and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission will be partnering with JaRIA to produce a show in New Kingston — we will be blocking off traffic along Knutsford Boulevard. A date is still to be set for this particular event,” said Cooper.
He also said there are other events such as the panel discussion series Reggae University as well as other Reggae Month-endorsed events, which will take place during the period. “We have now realised that there is nothing wrong with staging events concurrently during Reggae Month as everything has its own audience, so we are hoping that the synergies with the ministries and other stakeholders will see a wider audience coming out for the events here in Kingston,” Cooper added.