Jamaica Observer: July 9, 2021 – ORGANISERS of celebrated music festival Reggae Sunsplash are busy fine-tuning the format for this year’s event set for November 26 and 27.
High on the agenda is the event’s hybrid nature which will see a live show staged at the expansive Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann, as well live streams and satellite locations across the globe.
Executive producer Tyrone Wilson told the Jamaica Observer that come November, the restrictions associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic will still be around so plans for the event will still have to focus on that.
“Last year we went totally virtual and that was successful. What we encouraged that was for persons to get together in safe groups and watch the festival, just to create a vibe. That worked and we had viewing parties in Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and in Kingston. It is that model that we want to develop and pull in our international audience, as you know our music is global,” he said.
With that in mind, Wilson and his team are looking to sharing the concept of the Sunsplash viewing parties with fans of the music and culture within the primary markets of Miami and other areas of Florida, New York, and the United Kingdom.
“While the pandemic has limited our abilities, in some respects it has opened up of boundaries and we now see how much more persons we can reach. It will not be safe for us to have thousands in the physical venue as we are used to. No matter the level of testing and sanitisation stations and requiring masks on entry… it is just very risky to have so many people in one place. So we will just be opening the venue to 2,000 persons in a luxury cabana setting. That is just 10 per cent of the capacity of the venue. This will be our base and all the content will be generated from there and the feed sent to world,” he said.
Wilson further noted that among the details being developed are benefits to patrons at viewing parties from some of the sponsors and partners associated with the festival.
Reggae Sunsplash returned to the entertainment calendar last November after a 14-year absence. Nine Jamaican acts took to the stage over the two nights: Richie Spice; Ras I; Tanya Stephens; Capleton; Jesse Royal; Romain Virgo; Masicka; Agent Sasco; and Dexta Daps.
The festival, which has established the blueprint for similar events worldwide, was first held by promoters Synergy at Jarrett Park, Montego Bay on June 23-30 in 1978. Subsequent to that, it was last held August 3-6, 2006 at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann.