Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Ochi Carnival a growing brand

Published:Thursday | April 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Revellers enjoying the vibe during the recent Ocho Rios carnival road march, along Milford Road and Main Street.

In this steadfast and recently expanded carnival segment of the entertainment industry, aficionados have focused much of their attention on patrons in and around the nation's capital.

However, two event promoters noticed a void and decided to do something about it.

"While the carnival in Kingston was good, people outside of Kingston found it hard to participate," Julius Morgan told The Gleaner.

To alleviate the stress of tedious travels from outer parishes, Morgan and his promotions partner Marvin Lawrence developed the brand All-Island Carnival.

"[All Island Carnival] came out of a need to add some extra entertainment towards the rest of Jamaica. Kingston had carnival - and the other 13 parishes weren't getting it. But they wanted it. We saw the void and decided we were gonna venture to bring carnival back to the rest of the island. All-Island Carnival was born out of that," Morgan said. Still, the venture proved to be a massive undertaking.

The pair of promoters began their All-Island Carnival campaign in 2010. Realising that they had bitten off more than they could chew, the promoters went back to the drawing board, coming up with 'Ocho Rios Carnival Soca Wuk Up' in 2011, a secondary brand that has maintained to this day and demonstrates potential for growth. The pair have since refocused their energies on establishing the celebrations in the next best town, Ocho Rios.

"What we have done is reduced it. We did a feasibility study on all the bands that we've done in all the parishes, and Ocho Rios came out on top in terms of crowd size," Lawrence revealed.

Two years ago, the promoters decided to introduce the road march element, and this past Easter Monday, the promoters successfully executed Ocho Rios Carnival and Road March for the third time.