Jamaica Observer: KINGSTON – WITH International Reggae Day (IRD) set for Thursday, July 1, event conceptualiser Andrea Davis is pleased with the support for the global celebration of this brand of Jamaican music.

She said, despite the pandemic, she continued to receive buy-in from a number of players in the industry across the globe.

“There is an increased appetite and acceptance of events involving the virtual experience due to the nature of the pandemic. When we first introduced the concept in 1994, there was no Internet so we depended on traditional means to spread the word. By 1996 when the Internet was introduced, we quickly realised that we were able to reach an audience beyond or shores. Today, this is much more tangible and a lot more real, thanks to the device called a smartphone, persons literally have access to the music in the palm of their hands. We are so happy to see that a seed that was planted many years ago is now bearing fruit, and we can build on a vision,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

As is customary, a number of radio stations will be adjusting their playlists to reflect an all-reggae format for 24 hours. This is in addition to the events being curated by Davis and her team to mark the day.

“We give thanks for the long-standing support we continue to receive from radio stations, both traditional and online. We have entities in 13 countries developing content for broadcast on International Reggae Day. One of the big things is the One Love Pull Up. This is where we are encouraging participants to play One Love, the UNICEF-sponsored remix of the Marley tune. We will also be hosting an online Rally Wall where persons can go on and state what reggae and ‘One Love’ mean to them. These are part of our efforts to centralise activities and reflect on the real meaning of this year’s theme,” Davis explained.

Other activities include a DJ relay, which will bring together 20 disc jocks.

There will also be three-panel discussions exploring various aspects of the music. The first will look at the revolutionary nature of One Love. The second panel will examine music and the digital platforms, including cryptocurrency which can create other streams of income. The third panel will be hosted by the Association of Rastafari Creatives which will delve into ‘Rasta, Reggae and One Love’.

This IRD coincides with the reopening of the entertainment industry, and Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy “ Grange have announced a concert set for the Naval Dockyard in Port Royal, Kingston. Davis noted that this event is being handled by the ministry, her organisation is, however, giving support wherever possible.

The details of the concert are yet to be made known.