Reggae Sunsplash set to sizzle tonight - Jesse Royal, Romain Virgo, Agent Sasco and Masicka performers for Night 2
Following great performances from Tanya Stephens, Richie Spice, Ras-I, and show-closer Capleton on Night 1, Reggae Sunsplash brings the curtains down on its two-day virtual music fest tonight. The festival will again be streamed live on YouTube and across the Reggae Sunsplash social media pages at @goreggaesunsplash, starting at 5:30 pm.
Jesse Royal, Romain Virgo, Agent Sasco, and Masicka are expected to take full control of the virtual Sunsplash stage which will see ‘Di Owna’ Dexta Daps sealing the event. “Mi a guh mash it up,” was his confident statement in the Sunsplash ad.
According to producer Debbie Bissoon: “From the reception we’ve received, the Reggae Sunsplash audience is happy and expecting a great show. We have a good mix of artistes who represent reggae’s foundation and those who will continue the legacy of Jamaica’s music”.
Reggae Sunsplash, the blueprint for reggae festivals worldwide, was first held by promoters Synergy at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, St James, June 23-30, 1978. The last staging was August 3-6, 2006, at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann.
This weekend’s Reggae Sunsplash, within the confines of a virtual setting, may not be the triumphant return that organisers and fans had envisioned after a too-long 14-year absence. Still, many are happy, nonetheless, that the festival is embracing the new normal.
Tyrone Wilson, executive producer of Reggae Sunsplash, noted: “We are grateful to still be able to offer the Reggae Sunsplash experience to the world. With the global pandemic, we have had to make some adjustments, but we hope that through this unique performance package that we have created, fans of Reggae Sunsplash all over the world will be able to enjoy.”
Digital and creative institute iCreate is managing this year’s staging of the event.
Presented by main partners Visa and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), the Virtual Reggae Sunsplash 2020 will be streamed primarily on YouTube, along with other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, making the authentic Jamaican experience even more accessible to a worldwide audience, organisers said.
Reggae Sunsplash has also partnered with KFC, FLOW, Rumbar, Dragon, BetCo, Clear Sounds, and Kaboom. Wine distributor Betco is offering a one-of-a-kind viewing experience at over 20 venues across Jamaica, all while abiding by the COVID-19 protocols and the stipulated curfew hours, the organisers said.
The contributions of reggae pioneer Dennis Brown were acknowledged on Night 1, with a special tribute. “COVID restrictions didn’t allow us to do the type of tribute we wanted for D Brown this year, but Tyrone Wilson and D Brown’s family had messages in [last night’s] show. We will do another tribute to someone else next year in an even greater way,” Bissoon told The Gleaner.
Director of Tourism Donovan White said the Jamaica Tourist Board was pleased to support iCreate for the return of Reggae Sunsplash.
According to Waldemar Cordero, head of Caribbean and Central America marketing, VISA, “We know our consumers’ preferences across Jamaica and the region continue to shift, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we are excited to be working with Reggae Sunsplash to provide a unique digital viewing experience for such an iconic brand.”
Reggae Sunsplash has featured big names such as Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Freddie McGregor, Bunny Wailer, Terror Fabulous, Tiger, Lady Patra, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Papa San, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer,and many other iconic names in reggae and dancehall.