JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Kingston is to host the first annual One World Ska and Rocksteady Music Festival on November 26, 2016, at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, in Kingston.
  • The aim of the event is to promote Kingston as a cultural tourism destination, which is in keeping with the city’s recent designation as a Creative City of Music by UNESCO.
  • The festival is a production of Sounds and Pressure Foundation, in association with Fiwi Productions. The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and National Integrity Action (NIA) are the major sponsors.

Kingston is to host the first annual One World Ska and Rocksteady Music Festival on November 26, 2016, at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, in Kingston.

The aim of the event is to promote Kingston as a cultural tourism destination, which is in keeping with the city’s recent designation as a Creative City of Music by UNESCO.

The festival was officially launched at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on August 9.

In her address, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, congratulated the producers for conceptualising the event.

She noted that the main focus of her Ministry is to establish a National Festivals Calendar, with a support plan for the staging of each.

“For example, the Maroon festival in Accompong; it attracts visitors, but there is some work that needs to be done.  It needs to be produced and packaged properly and the Ministry is prepared to work with them to do that, in order that the Ministry of Tourism can spend the money to promote it,” Ms. Grange said.

She pointed out that culture and creative works are big businesses with vastly untapped potential that Jamaica needs to study and understand, in order to reap economic benefits.

Ms. Grange cited the UNESCO/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Creative Economy Report 2013, which indicated that the global trade in cultural and creative goods and services more than doubled between 2002 and 2011, reaching US$624 billion in 2011.

“I’ve consistently reiterated that we have not taken advantage of the possibilities that exist for our music and culture.  I am committed, through my Ministry, to ensuring that we maximise on the vast potential for earnings in the areas of music, culture, entertainment and sports, which I refer to as physical culture,” she said.

The Minister added that it is time to ensure that most, if not all, of the earnings from these dynamic products flow back into the country to boost the national economy.

“I have no doubt that this festival will be a bold move in this direction,” Ms. Grange said.

She noted that the festival segment is one of the most vibrant of the creative economy, providing direct employment for a wide range of creative practitioners as well as indirect employment and revenue to another set of persons, such as dressmakers, tailors, hairdressers and nail technicians.

For his part, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, hailed the hosting of the event in Kingston.

Mr. Bartlett said it is hoped that Kingston will become the centre of music and entertainment for the tourism industry.

“We have to invest in music; we have to invest in the infrastructure for music, because we can’t call the world here without proper infrastructure,” the Minister said.

Artistes confirmed to perform at the festival include the Skatalites, Crazy Baldheads, Soweto Ska Band, Marcia Griffiths, B.B. Seaton and the Gaylads, Sparrow Martin and Skasonic, and Leroy Sibbles.

The festival is a production of Sounds and Pressure Foundation, in association with Fiwi Productions. The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and National Integrity Action (NIA) are the major sponsors.