Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
The seamless transition from ideas on the drawing board to successful execution has been one of the defining features of the annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, which has been an integral part of the local entertainment landscape since 1996.
One of the giants behind the event's smooth execution over the years is businessman Sydney Reid, who functions in the capacity as venue manager. He oversees the talent stage and main stage through to the construction of press set-up, VIP area, food court, parking and general venue layout. He also ensures the proper positioning of skyboxes for sponsors and VIP to meet the desired standard.
MAKING VENUE USER-FRIENDLY
"The whole idea is to create a user-friendly venue to ensure maximum fulfilment for our patrons and sponsors," said Reid. "This year, we will be tweaking some areas to eliminate some of the minor concerns we had last year."
While all the various areas need his meticulous attention, Reid pays particular attention to parking, the VIP area and the skyboxes, which he says add to the dynamics of the overall experiences at festival, which attracted some 30,000 patrons last year.
"We want to ensure that for our VIP patrons, visibility and access is properly taken care of," noted Reid. "We have made sure that they enjoy the type of experience that they have paid for.
"Parking, for all our patrons, will be more efficient as we strive to minimise delays. In addition, the venue layout for our skybox owners will represent a truly first-class experience in terms of stage visibility," he added.
Reid is an experienced hand when it comes to getting venues into pristine shape as he has been successfully handling events like Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute and came in for much commendation for his handling of the opening ceremony of 2007 ICC World Cup, where he operated as service manager.
The multitalented Reid is highly respected in the area of event planning as many feel that a project in Reid's hands means success guaranteed.
"It takes professionalism to be able to do this kind of thing and you have to be very organised because several other critical elements rely on what you do or the decisions you make," said Reid. "Nevertheless, I love what I do and my aim for the Jazz & Blues Festival is to ensure a quality production and ensure the venue is comfortable for everyone who will be there during the festival."