Jamaican government keeps promise to invest in reggae music


It appears that members of the Jamaican Cabinet are heeding the call from members of the music fraternity, for the government to invest more resources in reggae.

The Jamaican government has launched a new music initiative to facilitate the development and hosting of several daily Reggae events, particularly in the resort townships of the island. According to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the initiative called “Tourism Reggae Product” which will be undertaken by his ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, will target visitors to the island who are lovers of the genre.

Speaking at the recent Reggae Month launch at Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston, Bartlett said the government has pledged $ 10 million to launch and build “a major cultural product,” which aims to improve the visitor experience, through what he described as the streamlined infusion of Reggae music.

“They want to organize Reggae events like they do with the tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina or the Tropicana in Cuba… three, four times a day. So this Tourism Reggae product will be available to our visitors 24/7, ”Bartlett said, noting that many tourists who travel for Indigenous cultural and entertainment experiences are looking for multiple associated event offerings.

Bartlett has had other good news for the entertainment fraternity as well. He said that through the entertainment network of the Ministry of Tourism, a window will be opened for the Export-Import Bank of Jamaica to provide low-interest loans to investors “in building the Reggae product. “. This initiative, he said, is crucial in strengthening the relationship between culture and entertainment.

Entertainment Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange will work with Bartlett’s designated manager of the Tourism Linkages Network to form a team to undertake the preparatory work, after which investors will be identified.

Bartlett said entertainment is, perhaps the most important part of visitors’ consumption alongside food, with an expected boom in the number of hotel rooms on the island there will be a concomitant appeal. on Jamaica’s cultural strengths and “we must therefore invest in it.

“So we are looking for partners now… enterprising young people who can walk the road with us for the next 10 years…” he said.

Reggae Month 2020 will be celebrated in February under the theme “Riddim’s Come Ketch” and will feature 29 days of live reggae music across Jamaica and the Diaspora.

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