Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Festival Song Competition to return with a bang

Published:Wednesday | December 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Multiple Festival Song Competition winner Roy Rayon.
Kharuso salutes the audience at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, after winning the festival song contest for his entry, 'My Jamaica' in 2010.
Orville Hill

The Festival Song Competition is set to return with a bang next summer.

Orville Hill, interim executive director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC), told The Gleaner that the competition has always aimed to attract quality talent. He said the organisers have decided to make the competition even more appealing come next year, so as to attract the best.

"It is our aim to continue to attract high-quality performers, songwriters and producers, as well as impact the lives of many other Jamaicans who will benefit both socially and economically from the staging of this event. The entries, in recent times, have been lacking and thus to influence and improve the quality of the entries, we increased the prizes as one of the key strategies in achieving this objective," he said.




"The Festival Song competition is the longest-running song competition in Jamaica and we are proud the cadre of performers who have emerged from this competition, many of whom are still active in the culture and creative industry."

Hill said the JCDC has established a Festival Song committee that will serve in planning and executing the competition.

"The committee includes JCDC board commissioners and other experts from media and the culture and creative industries. These persons will offer their expert advice as to how the competition for 2018 and beyond will be shaped. They will give assistance to the JCDC team with that portfolio responsibility," Hill said.

"We have also placed more emphasis on training, especially before the entries are submitted in February 2018. Special workshops are being organised to cover the areas of writing, performance, intellectual property rights, grooming, media and brand management. These workshops will be held across the island and at every level of the competition," he added.

The 2017 edition of the Festival Song competition was not held. Hill told The Gleaner that having spent some time fine-tuning the competition, he doesn't foresee another cancellation any time soon. He also said that interest in the 2018 staging of the contest is very strong, and he expects next year's staging to be one of the best.