A definite date has been confirmed for the staging of Reggae Sunsplash, following its 14-year hiatus.
The iconic reggae festival, which was first staged in June 1978, will span three days, from November 6 to 8, at the Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in Priory, St. Ann. According to Irie FM, the lineup for the event has not yet been released. In its heydays, Reggae Sunsplash showcased roots reggae artistes, including Bob Marley, who performed at its second staging in 1979. The festival was revived in 2006 and held in St. Ann, after being aborted in 1998, but was again discontinued thereafter.
The inaugural show was staged from June 23-30 in 1978 at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, and by Synergy, a company directed by Tony Johnson, Ronnie Burke, Don Green, and John Wakeling.
Guardsman Group and eMedia Interactive decided in 2018 to resurrect the long-dead music festival and stage it in November 2020. Initially, Guardsman and other stakeholders had attempted to revivify the music festival in 2006, but it ended up being a failure, with Reggae Sumfest subsequently taking its space as Jamaica’s premier music event.
Nevertheless, the promoters of the revamped Reggae Sunsplash, who have also pinpointed the need for more festivals in Jamaica to attract international visitors, have promised that the festival’s “third coming will be bigger and better”.
They have also indicated that “the show will stay true to its roots” but will also highlight the evolution of the genre, while “honoring the signature sounds of the festival’s history.”