With the coronavirus pandemic preventing the staging of live events, Reggae Sunsplash has opted to make its grand return online.
The event was set to return to Grizzly’s Plantation in St Ann this year, 14 years after it was last held. However, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and changed things.
Unwilling to completely shelve their plans, the organisers will host a virtual event on November 27 and 28. It will be streamed primarily on YouTube, but viewers will also be able to access it via Facebook and Instagram.
While Reggae Sunsplash will not return in the expected format, Tyrone Wilson, the executive producer for the event, is still eager to bring the show to the world.
“We are grateful to still be able to offer the Reggae Sunsplash experience to the world. With the global pandemic, we have had to make some adjustments but we hope that through this unique performance package that we have created, fans of Reggae Sunsplash all over the world will be able to enjoy,” he said.
“This is a historical and iconic brand that helped to birth Jamaica’s music festival economy. Our main aim at iCreate is to aid in the development of the digital and creative economies, and this festival will be reintroduced to Jamaica and the world at a critical juncture. Creatives will benefit from additional earnings during a time where the industry has been brought to its knees.”
The organisers have also promised to announce the line-up next week.
The event will be managed by iCreate in partnership with Visa and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Reggae Sunsplash was last held in August 2006 at Richmond Estate in St Ann when the organisers tried to revive it. However, the event was first staged in 1978 by Synergy Productions. The festival ran until 1996. None was held in 1997, but there was a return in 1998.