International Reggae Day’s ‘Experience Reggae 360’ well received Image

by Contributed

Complimenting the International Reggae Day 24-hour media festival showcasing Jamaica’s music culture, a series of lifestyle parties in different cities concluded the ‘Experience Reggae’ promotions on JulyOne where fans were encouraged to experience Reggae 360 - Wear-Play-Dance-Feel-Eat-Love-Be Reggae and plant a tree for IRD.  

Participating lifestyle brands offered music themed discount specials on JulyOne to customers wearing Reggae colours including Bridget Sandals, Jamaica Pegasus Blend Bar, Cafe What’s On, East Japanese, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, White Bones, One 32, Truck Stop, Veggie Meals on Wheels, Tea Tree Creperie, Suzie’s Bakery, Red Bones, Asia’s Cafe, EITS Cage, Ashanti, Toss and Roll, Gymkanna and the Hope Zoo.  The JulyOne retail promotion was well received by fans and participating brands who commit to being a part of the initiative again in 2015.

Inspired by the visit of Nelson and Winnie Mandela to Jamaica after his release over twenty years ago, International Reggae Day (IRD) has become a global movement uniting nations around the world in peace for equal rights and climate justice.  This year’s feature short Nations United co-produced by UFTJ highlighted the global reach of Reggae, Rastafari and Kingston’s music as artistes from Beijing to New Dehli send greeting to the city that is home to Jamaican music.  Media specials from TVJ’s Reggae programming to Miss Kitty’s one-year anniversary of her radio show, highlighted the contribution of Jamaican music culture to the world.  

A number of JulyOne New Releases were featured including: 

  • IRD Nations United
  • Martei Korley – Couldn't Be Wrong
  • Suzanne Couch – Fu Manchu (Tribute to Desmond Dekkar)
  • Playing for Change ft Toots – Reggae Got Soul (video)
  • Tessanne Chin – Count On My Love (debuts @ #6 on ITunes)
  • Bob Marley – Legend (remastered)

As IReggaeDay celebrated its 20th anniversary, JulyOne celebrations included lifestyle parties in a number of cities including Kingston, Waikiki, New York, Miami and all Sandals Resorts throughout the Caribbean.  The Kingston parties for JulyOne included the Veggie Meals on Wheels Conscious Party live show featuring Bryan Art and Keteis and a special Reggae mixer at Bridget Sandals to close the 24-hour celebration of Jamaican creativity.   

As part of this year’s focus on design, the IRD collaboration with the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) showcased a collection of fine art posters from the contest that was projected in a digital exhibit on the wall of the Jamaica Pegasus between 7-10pm on JulyOne.  The stunning display of fine art from professional graphic artists from Brasil to the UK courtesy of IRD sponsor Phase 3, was visible across New Kingston with persons exercising in Emancipation Park receiving a surprise digital show inspired by Kingston’s music.  According to Jamaica Pegasus GM Peter Hillary who welcomed guests to the hotel’s Polo Lounge to witness the presentation of IRD Awards and the digital exhibit on the hotel’s outside wall “we are honoured to host International Reggae Day and the digital exhibit and are committed to participate in this celebration and presentation of fine art in Kingston in 2015 and beyond”. 

Martei Korley

On JulyOne, official IRD parties were hosted overseas including the relaunch of Spur Tree Lounge and a live party at Miss Lilly's co-hosted by BIG Magazine and, both in New York.  Sandals Resorts joined in the global celebrations with Reggae parties in its 24 hotels across the 7 islands in the Caribbean.  There was also a Reggae Day Picnic in Waikiki, Hawaii @ Queen Kapiolani Park) and a ‘Level the Vibes’ live jam in South Florida hosted and streamed by INationTV.  

The New York celebrations were anchored by two of the city’s most popular lifestyle spots Miss Lily’s co-hosted by IRD media partners BIG Jamaica and and Spur Tree Lounge.   The NY Reggae party at Miss Lily’s which participated in the Experience Reggae promotions.  Radio Lily streamed the party between 7-10pm featuring special djs and live performances from Dutch Reggae artiste Martei Korley and Japanese melodica player Anna.  The party moved across Soho to the relaunch of Spur Tree Lounge who joined in the IReggaeDay celebrations hosted by international Chef Sean John and his team which featured their signature Jamaican Asian fusion cuisine and eclectic mix of global Reggae music.   

The ‘IRD Waikiki Picnic in the Park’ celebration produced by the Lawson King Foundation was a family event at the Queen Kapiolani Park Band Stand featuring Hawaiian Reggae artistes with a special appearance from the Royal Hawai'ian Band.  For IRD Waikiki event producer Dion Lawson, “We are blessed Islands of Hawai'i to participate in Jamaica global historical experience.  Here on the Islands Hawai'i our rainbow blessings in the spirit of aloha will cross over the Pacific Ocean to the other side of the rainbow 'Island of Jamaica' aligned with movement of Jah People in the spirit of one love.

Marcia Griffiths 

IRD media partner INationTV joined in the party mix with an IRD edition of their ‘Level the Vibes’ series representing the South Florida massive on JulyOne streamed from Ginger Bay Cafe in Hollywood featuring live performances with the Code Red Band, Alana DeCosta and more.  Sandals Resorts rounded out the live party celebrations on JulyOne with synchronized Reggae parties at 8pm in all 24 of their resort properties in the Caribbean.  

The IRD Conference ‘You Reap What You Sow’, planted the seeds for the Creative Kingston movement with the session on social design and its power to transform space.  The conference also focused on the Copyright Term Extension and was opened by Minister Anthony Hylton who “welcomed the opportunity that International Reggae Day provides, as we continue the efforts to build and yield more from our creative industries”. 

Industry, Investment, and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said that “significant progress” has been made in addressing several internal issues with its lawyer and other stakeholders “who had differing views” on the Protocol’s provisions. “Before this term is out, I have pledged that the Act (facilitating the Madrid Protocol’s institution) will be passed,” he said, while addressing  opening ceremony for the International Reggae Day conference recently on June 30th at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.  The Madrid Protocol facilitates international registration of trademarks by way of one application that is recognized worldwide.  

Julian Marley planting a coffee tree.

The launch of the iReggaeDay App, now available in the Google and Amazon Store, can be used to keep track of all the iReggae Day activities and make it easier to share your JulyOne experience.  The iReggaeDay eStore is now OPEN and offers a variety of merchandise such as t-shirts for ladies, men and children and assorted lifestyle accessories including water bottles, laptop covers and bags.

Adding Reggae’s voice to the fight for peace, equal rights and climate justice on JulyOne with tree plantings tagged with #iReggaeTree, were done at Emancipation Park, Hope Zoo and in Portmore by Sun City FM.

IRD 2014 was successfully produced with the kind support of its brand partners: Bridget Sandals, Jamaica Tourist Board, International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC), JAMPRO, JAMMS, Jamaica Pegasus, ATL Automotive|Honda, Phase 3, Starlight Productions, Innografix, Emancipation Park, UFTJ, Social Bugz,
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), JIPO, BIG Magazine,, Miss Lily’s, Spur Tree Lounge and the Lawson King Foundation.



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