Sun | May 31, 2020

Low turnout at Jamaica Live - Lloyd Parkes suggests new marketing strategy

Published:Monday | January 27, 2020 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Staff Reporter
Althea Hewitt performs at the third staging of Jamaica Live last Saturday.
Sky Grass
Monifa Goss
Root Impact
Host DJ Bambino
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Jamaica Live was designed to showcase live, original Jamaican musical content to audiences across the world and it has all the right ingredients – reggae and dancehall stars, excellent musicianship from multiple local bands and vivacious hosts. But so far – the concert series has not yet pulled enough support to bring any of its venues to capacity.

Hosted by actress Shantol Jackson and Do It For The Culture’s DJ Bambino, last Saturday night, the third instalment of the series was staged at Boone Hall Oasis. Though location may have been a factor for some potential patrons unwilling to brave the dips and corners of Stony Hill, veteran performer Lloyd Parkes suggests a new marketing method for the organisers, which will hopefully attract a bigger crowd next time.

He reasoned that in order to impress the international audience, Jamaica Live must first attract the local one. “It’s a good idea, but I think they should advertise the Jamaican way. If someone around the world is watching it with a low audience, it’s not going to look good. In the future, I think it must advertise on television to make all of Jamaica come out and enjoy, so it would look good internationally,” he told The Gleaner.

Aired on cable

From the mind of the series conceptualiser, David White, to reach the international audience, each Jamaica Live concert will be edited to be aired on pay-per-view on US cable channels and on radio. The edited versions of the concert will be available through other distribution channels, like Comcast, Verizon, Roku, Caribbean Media Corporation and South African Broadcast Corporation.

Locally, the concerts will be rebroadcast on FLOW Television Network.

Parkes continued: “Not many people are doing something like this. I think, in the end, it will be established internationally. This guy, he lives in Texas – and he sees it necessary to come to Jamaica and do this, so we have to support [it]. I give thanks for it.”

Another grateful participant was Althea Hewitt, who also performed at a previous staging. “This is about live, original musicians stepping out into the world,” she said. Other performers included Skygrass, Monifa Goss and experienced dancehall performer Esco, backed by Higher Medz band from Ocho Rios. Also gracing the stage was Roots Impact band from Trench Town.

Lloyd Parkes and We The People band returned to the stage in support of experimental expressionists, The No-Maddz and reggae music star Richie Spice.

kimberley.small@gleanerjm.com