Reggae Month 2021 is on despite the ongoing pandemic that has forced the cancellation of many similar events. Things look hopeful for the month-long celebration of one of Jamaica’s most famous creations. It will be organized by the Reggae Month Secretariat. That group is a collective of members from Jamaica’s ministries of tourism and culture, gender, entertainment and sports, and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA).
While there will be no gatherings to celebrate the genre, Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange has given the assurance that there will still be a month of celebration. She was speaking during last Sunday’s, January 10, televised launch of Reggae Month.
She explained that even though the show will now be held, virtually those involved are not daunted by the task that lays ahead to ensure a successful celebration of reggae.
“We will use Reggae Month to increase further the capacity of our technical creatives through virtual workshops in such areas as sound engineering, lighting and stage management. We will also use the opportunity to organise masterclasses in areas in which we believe there is a knowledge deficit,” she said.
She also said it was a good opportunity to learn more about other areas like publishing, and “the different forms of music rights, and other areas which will put our songwriters, and artistes on the right path to truly earning from their creative works.”
Reggae Month 2021 will begin Sunday, January 31, and kicks off with a church service. The event will go throughout February and will feature a series of virtual events. Some of the events expected include a discussion series, “Grounation,” which was organized by the Jamaica Music Museum, “Reggae Films Online,” and a virtual soundclash.
Ewan Simpson, chairman of JaRIA also shared how the group will take part in the event through several panel discussions on ‘Reggae, Rasta and Resistance’, which is part of the popular Reggae Open University series.
“We are going virtual with all our events, reaching a global audience and collaborating globally as we celebrate Jamaica and reggae as the entertainment mecca of the world . This joint panel with our brothers and sisters in Florida will look at the role played by reggae and Rastafari in efforts such as the Black Lives Matter movement,” he added.