Gosplash moves to target traditional worshippers
Combining its original concert model with a few changes to the overall setting, Action Entertainment is expecting that Gosplash will attract an even wider audience, including conventional worshippers.
Under the theme 'The Worship Encounter', the concert has changed from its usual full day of activities and is moving from Portmore to Kingston for a more traditional form of worship.
CEO of Action Entertainment Markland Edwards, notes a visible impact will be created by a change in venue as this answers the requests of patrons to host Gosplash in a central and practical location.
"Outside of the fun activities with the purpose of presenting an atmosphere of wholesome family entertainment, there are people who will still enjoy that traditional religious experience of praise and worship," Edwards told The Gleaner. "With our previous beach venue, it worked to have a fun day, and it lived up to that billing to 'go splash' in the water, But now, it's more of a splash of praise."
The action-packed event will feature Chevelle Franklyn, Jermaine Edwards, Glacia Robinson, Christina Roshay, Tiffany Hall-Johnson and the headliner - 12-time Grammy award winner American gospel artiste Cece Winans (who has not been on the island to perform in over a decade).
Edwards says that the selection of artistes was made based on their style of worship and the trends on the gospel music scene.
"The shift observed with the kind of music being played is leaning towards praise and worship. Though people have likened to the dancehall-gospel fusion, some Christians will not listen to or be appreciative of it," he explained.
"All our acts this year are traditional worshippers, and I am pleased that we have been able to secure their participation and be a part of the event's legacy," he added.
He explained that dancehall and reggae rhythms behind the lyrics tend to attract the younger generation but are also limited. "It is safer", he said, to go the traditional route that is accepted to by all age groups.
Rolling rhythms accompanied by the clapping of hands and shouts of "Praise the Lord"; that is the tradition that Action Entertainment's is targeting.
So, why celebrate Emancipation Day with gospel music? Well, not only has Edwards credited that as the time when many older Jamaicans visit home, but the concert matches with the week-long Independence celebrations within the local Christian culture as well.
"Gospel music presents the Christian message in a way that reaches people's ears, hearts and souls in an atmosphere you cannot help uniting in praising God, in the same light. It can unite persons coming home with vacationers coming to be a part of the week's entertainment to celebrate 56 years with the element of a gospel concert."
He continued, "The goal is to create a premier Christian event within the Caribbean for persons flying in for all the summer events like Reggae Sumfest."
Now in its sixth year, Gosplash has also added a VIP section where patrons will be treated to Jamaican food and treats. The Liguanea Club venue, Edwards says, makes for a more concert-like atmosphere that the mature audience will appreciate, especially with ample parking and security. Part proceeds from Gosplash will go towards the Walker's Place of Safety reconstruction fund.