Shaggy, Tommy Lee Sparta, Beenie Man for virtual Ghetto Splash on December 15

Dancehall veteran Beenie Man is one of several acts confirmed for the virtual staging of Ghetto Splash.

The annual Ghetto Splash event is set to unfold virtually on December 15.

Event organiser Patrick Roberts said the show must go on despite the coronavirus pandemic, and has confirmed acts Tommy Lee Sparta, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Jahmiel, Quada and D’yani.

“Most of the persons who watch the show can understand that Ghetto Splash is no different from any other ‘Splash’.”

– Event organiser Patrick Roberts

Roberts added that Shaggy has been helping to procure sponsorship, a boost for the show which has been struggling to source funding over the years. He believes the event’s name is posing a threat to this effort.

“I think the name Ghetto Splash is having an impact on how we get sponsors because I think most of these companies saying, ‘Oh, Ghetto Splash, probably it’s a mediocre thing’,” he said during a recent OnStage interview. “Most of the persons who watch the show can understand that Ghetto Splash is no different from any other ‘Splash’… Production wise, it’s of the highest of quality… The only difference between a (Reggae) Sunsplash or a (Reggae) Sumfest or a Jazz and Blues or any of these shows, (is that) one is free, but you get the same production.”

Roberts said Shaggy, who is set to appear on the show, has been helping to secure sponsorship for the event’s staging.

He is hoping to get a telecommunications network on board. FLOW sponsored the virtual ‘A Taste of Sumfest’ in July and the recently-held Reggae Sunsplash.

Ghetto Splash was first staged in 1989 in Craig Town, Kingston, as a give-back initiative spearheaded by Roberts’ Shocking Vibes Production Company. It moved to the National Heroes’ Park in 1996 where it welcomed 50,000 patrons. Roberts brought the event to its current Waterhouse base in 2012, as a councillor for the Molynes Gardens division of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation.