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‘I Love Soca’ for New York in 2020

Published:Sunday | December 29, 2019 | 12:38 AMStephanie Lyew - Gleaner Writer

The next event for I Love Soca will be Carnival Wednesday in Jamaica next April; but the ­promoters will have their hands full planning ahead for its New York leg which is slated for summer 2020.

The international Caribbean soca ‘Stage God’ Riggo Suave, who is also the official road DJ for Skinny Fabulous, could not leave the music console and microphone at I Love Soca – held at Sabina Park last Thursday, December 26, on Boxing Day – without airing the news that the event would be headed to the northeastern American state for the first time which literally got thumbs up.

“We don’t want to give away too much, but it will be close to where the majority Jamaicans reside in New York, at a very sexy venue,” hinted Andrew Bellamy, organiser of the event, when he spoke to The Gleaner following the announcement.

I Love Soca has planted roots in Jamaica for almost 10 years – marking its 10th anniversary next year, and also in Florida, where it has been staged throughout the Miami Carnival season in October for the past four years.

“There has been a great demand for the party, for us to take it to the diaspora overseas and in more recent times to New York,” Bellamy said.

“A very solid partner has been found there and we are going to make the move for summer to basically kick-start the season in the state.”

The event serves as a melting pot of cultures, music and fashion in Jamaica, hosted twice per year, once in the Jamaica Carnival and in the Christmas seasons. It has featured top-rate entertainers from the Caribbean, including Kerwin Dubois, Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Kes, Nailah Blackman and Sekon Sta, and dancehall’s finest from Jamaica, Bounty Killer, Chi Ching Ching, Ding Dong and the Ravers Clavers crew.

Bellamy promises: “[I Love Soca] will continue to stir in the talents of the Caribbean in order to add flavour to the festival brand we are creating as a smorgasbord that not only soca fans will love.”