The finalists of the 2019 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, will hit the road running today, Saturday, June 8, at King’s Plaza in Christiana, Manchester, commencing their month-long performance road tour which will give members of the public across the island the opportunity to know the winning songs and the artistes. This will lead up to the competition’s Grand Finale in July, at which the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica’s 57th Anniversary of Independence, will be selected.
Organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an Agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, the 2019 Festival Song Road Tour will cover eight parishes, in an attempt to deliver a grander experience to the public.
Mr. Orville Hill, Chairman of the Jamaica Festival Song Committee, had this to say about the upcoming roadshows: “The road tour I believe will be something special. We always aim to do things bigger and better each year, and based on the performances we have seen so far from this year’s finalists, the parishes are in for quite a show!”
Coming off an exceptional launch held at Emancipation Park in May, Hill is especially optimistic to see the road tour shift into gear this weekend.
Following the Christiana road show on June 8, the tour resumes on Friday, June 14, at Sam Sharpe Square, in Montego Bay, St. James, starting at 7:00 PM. The road show will then head to Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on Saturday, June 15, where it is set to begin at 1:00 PM. The fourth stop will be at Port Antonio Square, Portland, also on Saturday June 15, and is set to begin at 7:00 PM. Then, Thursday, June 27 will see St. Thomas’ leg of the road show take off at Paul Bogle Square at 6:00 PM.
The St. Elizabeth leg of the road show will take place at the Santa Plaza in Santa Cruz, on Friday, June 28, and is scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM. It is followed by St. Catherine, whose road show stop is slated for Saturday, June 29, at Munimar Square, Spanish Town, also beginning at 7:00 PM.
The St. Ann leg of the road show will be hosted at Ocho Rios, Square on Friday, July 5, at 7:00 PM and is followed by a Motorcade through St. Catherine and Kingston, on Saturday, July 6, beginning at 10:00 AM.
The road show will officially end with the competition’s Grand Final at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 PM.
Hill expects contestants to pull out all the stops. He said: “The roadshows are an excellent warm up for the finale. I would urge contestants to keep in mind the cash prizes, and the opportunity to have their song not only win the competition but also go on to become the theme for this year’s independence celebrations.”
A signature programme of the JCDC, an Agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Jamaica Festival Song Competition started in 1966, and continues to serve as a musical platform for cultural exposition and for entrants to make an indelible mark on Jamaica and the world. The competition boasts past winners like Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Decker, Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon, Heather Grant and Stanley Beckford.