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Many battle to be first - But Paradise Lost takes dibs on three-day EDM festival in Ja

Published:Sunday | November 15, 2015 | 11:19 AMShereita Grizzle
King Jammy
Jason Newman, director of marketing and revenue development at Caribbean Trans Media Ltd.
Bassnectar
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Now that light has been shed on the roots of electronic dance music (EDM) by Billboard.com, there is urgency within the music fraternity to put the Brand Jamaica seal on EDM.

Before the Billboard revelation, many Jamaicans believed that EDM was created overseas, and although there is a following behind the music locally, it hasn’t really exploded. All that is expected to change in the coming months as Jamaica prepares to host the biggest EDM festival the country has ever seen and is part of a bigger strategy to ensure that the world never forgets where EDM started.

Cementing Jamaica’s place in the history books as the country that created EDM is the event’s main goal, and that was made very clear at the launch of the festival last month. Jason Newman, one of the event’s organisers, revealed that Paradise Lost will be the event that reintroduces EDM to its rightful birthplace.'

The festival is being marketed as the first EDM festival to be held in Jamaica, and although there are some who may argue otherwise, what cannot be denied is the magnitude of the upcoming production.

There have been numerous dance music festivals held across the island since EDM was first introduced back in the days of King Tubby, however, Paradise Lost will be the first three-day festival to be held in the island. It will seek to build strategically on what already exists.

COLOUR FEST

In recent times, thanks to parties like Colour Fest and Electric Butterfly Music Festival, EDM has been growing in popularity locally, but while these parties have allowed for a stronger following for the genre, none of them (EDM festivals/parties) has been able to pull the crowd that is expected to turn up at Paradise Lost.

Promoters are expecting it to bring nearly 15,000 visitors to the island over the three-day period. Of course, that number could increase as the festival is being held during the highly anticipated spring break period.

The brainchild of Caribbean Trans Media Limited and HMRA, NBBL INC, Paradise Lost also anticipates creating around 2,500 new jobs.

When one compares the number of patrons expected to turn up at Paradise Lost come 2016 to a festival like the Jazz and Blues Festival, their target is not impossible to reach. The Jazz and Blues Festival that is held annually in Jamaica is one of the country’s biggest music festivals. It has grown in numbers since its debut in 1996, and to date, has attracted millions of visitors to the island with over 30,000 patrons attending the festival annually.

If the inaugural staging of Paradise Lost is successful, it could possibly grow to compete with some of the biggest music festivals on the island, and that is the aim. Already, many have been visualising what a festival of this magnitude could mean for the country financially, and according to an article from Rolling Stone magazine, it is estimated that the event could inject approximately $5 billion into the country’s economy.

Paradise Lost is scheduled to take place at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann from March 10-12, 2016, and promises to bring good vibes to the local entertainment scene. In addition to the music experience, patrons are also expected to be treated with visits to reggae icon Bob Marley’s birthplace and family tomb, as well as excursions to tour the parish as part of the entertainment package. The festival’s line-up boasts some of the biggest names in EDM, with the likes of Bassnectar and Tiesto being named as headline acts alongside dub legend King Jammy, Zion I, AlunaGeorge, Felix Jaehn, and Big Gigantic. There are other acts to be confirmed as the date of the event draws closer.

Early bird tickets for the festival go on sale on November 17 at 10 a.m. at the festival’s official site, www.paradiselostjamaica.com, with a general sale scheduled for November 23.

- shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com