A WARM welcome greeted the launch of the first Blue Mountain Music Festival to be held at Hollywell from February 22-23, at the Listen Mi Caribbean lounge on January 28th, South Odeon Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica. The mystery of the festival, promoted by Annubis was revealed by chief organiser Roshaun Clarke.
Clarke explained that the area needed an event that exposed the natural beauty of the Blue Mountain and John Crow Mountain regions. Influenced by his visit to similar Mountain located music festivals overseas, Clarke believed it was time for Jamaica to have a “high end” event of the quality in Europe for example.
According to him the Blue Mountain Music Festival represents a place where “Music meets the Arts, meets nature”.
Hence Clarke’s approach to the Jamaica Conservation Development Trust to host the event resulted in the one day Misty Bliss event becoming the two-day Blue Mountain Music Festival event at Holywell.
Damion Crawford representing the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment which endorsed the event was on hand to share his thoughts. Explaining entertainment as one main tool for attracting tourists this year, Crawford expressed his appreciation for the two -day festival which focused on other features of Jamaica besides sun, sea and sand.
This year Crawford said would be the first time that the main slogan for Jamaica would be “Come to Jamaica for Reggae (month)”, and not sun, sea, and sun. He also applauded the concept of camping and homes for tourists as opposed to hotel visits referring to his personal stay in a Trinidadian home during a vacation there.
Dr Susan Otuokon as guest speaker pointed to some of the elements that contributed to the Blue Mountain and John Crow mountains ideal as a tourist attraction.
Hints of the line up of performers were offered on a promotional video which played all night, and offered cds.
The first performer turned messenger for the evening was Abbebe Payne who dubbed about the ‘Gathering’. Then there were brief stints by Jesse Royal and numbered other entertainers.
Barbara Blake Hannah, TOK members, Ity and Fancy Cat, Cat Core of the Third World Band were some of the special guests acknowledged.
The prominent Third World Band was likened to the younger TOK band, who seemed according to emcee of the evening Bread Locks taking proper notes. Third World Band was explained as the chosen legend for this year’s inaugural festival. In his address he noted that at least one legendary reggae performer or group would be invited per year as the event developed.
The first Day will include a Reggae Party night, with the second day maintaining the Misty Blue concept.
For the event the likes of Tanya Stephens, Third World Band, Jah-Nine, Bugle, Keida are some of the artistes
Complimenting the event will be activities for children, and, Jamaican art and craft on sale, in addition to a wide variety of food locally made. Yoga, massages and trail tours will be also offered.
The evening’s caterer was Bizzy Catering, and those who attended mingled while sipping vegetable soup, eating garlic bread, chicken, Drinks were provided by Wisynco.
Other event sponsors include Bombrush, RJR group.
Tickets aoutlets include Touchstone tickets, Bookophilia, Woolworth.