Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange has announced that plans are well advanced for the staging of this year’s Jamaica Festival Song Competition.
Minister Grange said that there have been several changes in the how the programme is being executed but things have been progressing smoothly towards the finals in July, early enough so that the country will know the winning song in time for the independence celebrations.
“During the period of restrictions due to the Covid-19 virus, we have used the time to work through the challenges presented to the normal staging of the competition. We were able to complete the last of three auditions across the island in the first week of March as well as receiving recordings as customary. The live auditions were a new element of the competition added this year.
“Since then, we convened a panel of industry experts to analyse the songs that made it through the auditions, which were recorded, and those entries that we received through recordings. The ten songs will be announced later this week,” the minister said.
She made the point that the event is being rebranded, as the aim is to grow the brand “The Jamaica Festival Song” and make it more attractive and to return it to its former glory.
Due to social distance requirements, the event will take a TV and social media format, to give a wider audience a chance to participate. She said there are high-level discussions taking place with strategic partners to finalise the format and presentation.
The Festival Song Competition in Jamaica began in 1966 and was conceptualised to give Jamaicans a feel-good vibe at independence time. The winning song is meant to be the backdrop of the Jamaica Festival Independence Celebrations.
Among the big winners in the past have been Toots and the Maytals, Eric Donaldson, Hopeton Lewis Roy Rayon, Tinga Stewart and Nazzleman.