JaRIA chairman calls for more support

Observer writer

Saturday, February 15, 2020

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EWAN Simpson, chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), says even though the turnout at Reggae Wednesdays has been steadily increasing, more support is needed.

“So far, we have been pleased with the production. We have been able to combat many of the challenges that faced us. However, what I'd like to see is more persons in the park. I want to see 2,000 people as oppose to the 500 we saw on the first Wednesday and 800 that we saw this week. I do understand though, that this will take some time to grow,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

As part of the Reggae Month celebrations, the association is hosting the free concert every Wednesday in the month at Emancipation Park in Kingston.

This week's line-up saw the likes of Munga Honorable, Bugle, Chi Ching Ching, Jahmiel, Big Youth, Flourgon, Zagga, Khalia, and Dancehall Pastor.

Simpson further noted that it would require more capital to publicise the event.

“It requires finances to get the word out to people, in terms of marketing it. However, we just want people to know that it is a good show with quality entertainment. Reggae Wednesdays is a very good product that has the potential to continue to grow and it's there for people to enjoy,” he said.

The chairman said he was particularly pleased with Big Youth and Bugle's acts.

“It was a joy seeing Big Youth onstage, and Bugle also stood out. The crowd received them well, and it was just a good time overall,” said Simpson.

Founded in 2009, JaRIA is an independent, non-aligned, non-governmental, non-profit organisation through which all stakeholders in the music industry can continuously collaborate with each other, as one, united, independent collective interest.

Every February, the association hosts a myriad events such as Bob Marley Day, JaRIA Reggae University, Reggae Films in the Park, Children of the Icons Concert, and JaRIA Awards.

Simpson revealed that the association is deliberate in mixing up-and-coming artistes with established acts at their events.

“We try to create a balance between the emerging and established talents. We're saying to the emerging acts, 'we respect what you do; we respect your effort and you're not some just come'. Whereas they would receive five minutes on other shows we give them 15 to 20 minutes to deliver to the crowd. And of course, people attend the events to see the more established artistes,” he stated.

Next Wednesday's show will feature Toots, Christopher Martin, Queen Ifrica among others.

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