by Howard Campbell
OCHO RIOS, Jamaica – The Sashi Experience Festival, which created a stir in Jamaican entertainment when it was held there over 20 years ago, returns in May next year with promoters promising a lineup of heavyweight stars.
Jamaican Horatio Hamilton, Sashi’s founder and CEO, told South Florida Caribbean News that the event will be held May 23-26 at Plantation Cove in St. Ann parish, west of the resort town of Ocho Rios.
“Everything is on point, we have the venues locked, we have the artists locked. We’re just not ready to give any names as yet,” he said.
Hamilton disclosed that “five to six” Afrobeats acts will perform at Sashi Experience Festival, with several R&B artists also confirmed. He plans to reveal their names as promotion for the show heats up.
Then known as Sashi, the high-profile event was held from 1999 to 2002 at James Bond Beach in Oracabessa, St. Mary parish, east of Ocho Rios.
Sashi fielded a number of hot artists including Usher, Donell Jones, Eve, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, Brian McKnight, Tyrese, Lil Kim, Wyclef, Missy Elliott, Shabba Ranks, Super Cat and TOK.
With Jamaicans eager to see high-profile entertainers from the United States, it drew strong crowds. While it has been 21 years since the last show, Hamilton intends to make an even bigger impact next year.
“It’s an experience that has never been seen before in Jamaica. I’m not trying to repeat the past, I’m trying to improve on it,” he said.
While music is its focus, the Sashi Experience Festival also comprises an opening gala in Kingston, a fashion show to help expose Jamaican designers, and celebrity poker tournament for charity.