Capleton Says Jamaican Need More Reggae Events

Reggae/Dancehall artiste Capleton is lamenting the low number of stage shows being held annually in Jamaica.

According to the “Fireman,” for a country that has produced Reggae and four other genres, it was disconcerting that Jamaica does not have enough stage shows throughout the year. “I even did a song some years ago and in it I called the names of about 30 shows that used to keep every year. Every time mi do that song is trouble… But where are most of them now?” he told The Gleaner in a recent interview.

“We are Reggae island and we should stage the biggest festivals and shows to be found anywhere in the world,” he added.

Capleton also said he has been urging fellow artistes, such as Bounty Killer, to revive his Saddle to the East show and Richie Stephens to resume staging his Unity Splash.

“More shows are needed in Jamaica. Music is fun and it is informative. The most spiritual music on Earth is reggae music, because it have soul. It is the heartbeat. We have to keep the culture going,” Capleton said.

Capleton’s sentiments are similar to that of British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Hasif Ahmad, who in December last year, expressed consternation about the woeful lack of live Reggae events in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston, the genre’s birthplace.

The High Commissioner had complained that since he came to Jamaica, and became a resident of Kingston, his crave for live Reggae music has not always been met, as it was “very rare that you hear live Reggae music,” which he said ought to be “revived and cherished again.”

In January 2019, multi-award-winning journalist Karyl Walker described as a ‘real tragedy’ the fact that that there were only two major Reggae events being held on the island annually. He noted at the time that about 15 years ago, Reggae music was earning US$4 billion annually and, of that amount, “only 0.4 percent flows back into Jamaica.”

The journalist also said it was disheartening that Kingston, which is arguably the entertainment capital of the world, was lacking in a state of the art venue that, “could host large crowds and confine sound so as to keep in line with the Noise Abatement Act.”