By Derrick Scott
Washington, DC – DC World Reggae Festival, an Embassy of Jamaica-endorsed event, makes its inaugural staging August 19, 2018, featuring Jamaican artistes the likes of Shabba Ranks, Chronixx, Toots & The Maytals, Kes the Band, Raging Fyah, Rupee, Jah Works, and Ras Slick.
This musical feast will debut at RFK Stadium in North East Washington, D.C. It is one of the main events being organised in the Washington metropolitan area to celebrate the 56th year of independence of Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae music.
Welcoming World Reggae Festival’s executive producer Omar Stephenson and his team to the Embassy of Jamaica on Friday, July 27, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey P. Marks, commended the group for conceptualizing the festival.
Mark’s described the initiative as a great way to promote Jamaica as a country, as well as its music and culture. “If you think about it, we are all ambassadors of our country – especially its culture – which has so influenced the world stage that people are constantly amazed at our geographic size.”
The Ambassador emphasized as well that it was time for Jamaicans living in the diaspora to monetize the country’s culture, food, music and dance. “Our music – like reggae and dancehall, even our movie-making – has potential.”
She went on to stress that it was time to use the creative industry to transform our unique resiliency, creativity and commitment to turn the best of our culture into real economic opportunities, given that brand Jamaica is a globally-recognized brand.
The Jamaican diplomat further remarked that the key to harnessing our creative industry was an active collaboration between connected members of the diaspora and our talented local creative industry community, by organizing more concerts like DC World Reggae Festival.
The World Reggae Festival’s executive producer Omar Stephenson in giving an overview of the initiative, noting how it grew out of four years of organising Caribbean Live at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC. He pointed out that the Festival will not only cater to Jamaican, but also everyone, including Caribbean, African and urban audiences; and that it aims to use music to promote diversity and unity throughout the diaspora.
DC World Reggae Festival will run from 12 noon until 12 midnight August 19.