Fri | Oct 30, 2020

More support for fully virtual IRD

Published:Wednesday | July 1, 2020 | 12:22 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Andrea Davis
Andrea Davis

The organisers of International Reggae Day (IRD) are no strangers to virtual shows and streaming. This year, however, with COVID-19 restrictions having halted public gatherings, celebrations for the 26th anniversary of IRD will be fully virtual.

“We have been preparing for this for a while, as part of our blueprint for IRD, and it seems that now the rest of the world has caught up because of COVID,” said IRD founder Andrea Davis. “It was challenging because, obviously, there are differences in time zones; differences in language and differences in Internet capacity. So trying to align the technology and the content was a tall order, but our team has been working with our partners overseas to curate an experience that will resonate with the global audience.”

Davis said that support for IRD in Jamaica has not been at the level the organisation has expected, but revealed that since the announcement that activities this year will be totally virtual, more people have been showing interest. “The outpouring of interest has been very encouraging. Jamaica continues to be a very vibrant energy globally, and we have participation coming from South Africa to Brazil to the United States to Europe and Asia; and so we have been feeling quite positive, despite the pandemic situation,” she said.

The leading woman for IRD noted that while she seeks out sponsors in Jamaica who share her vision for IRD, she will continue to build the brand overseas. “We are looking for like-minded brands that see the bigger picture and really understand and want to be a part of what the platform has to offer. We hope 2021 that may come to fruition, but in the meantime, we continue to plant seeds around the world because our garden is bigger than just the space of Jamaica.”

From New York to London, New Dehli to Johannesburg, and from Brazil and Colombia to South Africa and Kenya, over 30 countries will be participating in IRD 2020.