The ‘Talk of the Town’ suite at the Pegasus Hotel was filled to capacity on Tuesday (Dec 3) night as industry players, dignitaries, and lovers of reggae music gathered to launch Reggae Month 2020.
Reggae Month is celebrated in February each year, and will be held under the theme, ‘Come Ketch de Riddim’.
The celebration kicked off at approximately 7:30 pm. And the ‘reggae vibes’ was in full effect, from the red, green and yellow lights that flooded the room, to the sweet reggae music from icons such as Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, that blasted through the speakers all over the room.
With the abundance of food, drink and the lively chatter, the atmosphere at the launch was very much like a ‘session’.
In between greetings from key industry stakeholders like The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA), the Jamaica Association of Villas & Apartments Limited JAVA the Jamaica Hoteliers Association (JHTA) were energetic performances to keep the crowd rocking.
Musical tastes were satisfied by performances from fast-rising reggae Artiste Jesse Royal, veteran Richie Spice, and a surprise performance from international dancehall artiste Sean Paul.
If the energy at the launch is anything to go by, then Reggae lovers have a lot to look forward to next February.
Described as a joint effort between the Ministry and Tourism and the Ministry of Culture, Reggae Month will feature exhibitions, symposiums, and concerts in Jamaica, and abroad to honour the impact Reggae music has made globally.
Reggae is an international brand
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said his ministry will be making a $10 million investment in Reggae Month to create a Reggae experience that is marketable to the world.
“Entertainment represents the strongest element of consumption within the visitor patterns, next to food. So we’re gonna start by building out the first cultural product, dubbed ‘Tourism Reggae Product’, and this product will be available to our visitors 24/7,” he said.
Minister Bartlett also said his ministry will be encouraging hoteliers to offer special rates during Reggae Month, and host Reggae-themed activities on their properties.
Meanwhile, Minister Grange said it is important that Jamaicans take pride in and celebrate Reggae music. “Jamaican Reggae music continues to touch the lives of people all over the world. It is an international brand,” she said.