The Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre will come alive this Saturday, April 14 with the Reggae and Mento infused sounds of the top 30 semi-finalists in the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition. Beginning at 6:00 pm, this free concert will see the semi-finalists go head to head for one of the coveted top ten spots as they try to outperform each other in front of a live audience. Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC,) an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the concert follows on the heels of multiple training seminars which were geared towards the semi-finalists honing their performance skills.
“Jamaica is ready and waiting for the newest festival song and we are equally excited to move another step closer to giving it to them.” Said Interim Executive Director at the JCDC, Orville Hill.
“The concert promises to be a good time for the entire family and the audience’s cheers will be a major boost for the competition, as we get a step closer to naming the 2018 Festival Song winner.” Hill continued, stating that crowd interaction is one of the criteria on which the semi-finalists will be judged.
Hill further stated that following their selection, the top ten finalists will participate in a series of performances across the island. This Road Tour will lead up to the Competition’s Grand Final in July, at which the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica’s 56th anniversary of Independence, will be selected.
The audience will also be treated to performances by special guests, the 2012 and 2014 winners of the Festival Song Competition, Abbygaye Dallas and Deep Jahi.
The 30 semi-final songs were selected from the more than 200 entered in this year’s competition, with the hope of winning a share of the record prize purse of $10 million announced by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
The Jamaica Festival Song Competition, which started in 1966 has helped to launch and advance the careers of some of Jamaica’s acclaimed singers and song writers. Winners of the Festival Song Competition have included Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Decker, Ernie Smith, Tinga Stewart, Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon, Stanley Beckford and Heather Grant.