More than 100,000 people from more than 28 countries watched the return of Reggae Sunsplash live and post-live online over the weekend, according to organisers.
After a 14-year hiatus, the brand was re-introduced virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers are pleased with the response to the show which – despite a slow start on Friday due to technical problems with the stream – boasted two nights of strong performances which were well-received by reggae and dancehall lovers.
“We are very happy to see the way in which Reggae Sunsplash turned out. The first night started a bit slow with a little internal technical glitch with the streaming, but we quickly got through that and got good engagement with fans of the brand all over the world,” Tyrone Wilson, Executive Producer of Reggae Sunsplash, told Loop News.
Capleton gave a typical fiery performance on Night 1.
Night 1 saw performances by four artistes – Tanya Stephens, Ras-I, Richie Spice and Capleton – and featured a video tribute to 'crown prince of reggae', Dennis Brown, who graced the iconic Sunsplash stage a number of times, the first in June 1978, the festival’s first staging at Jarrett Park in Montego bay.
Following the strong opening night, Jesse Royal, Romain Virgo, Agent Sasco, Masicka and Dexta Daps brought the curtains down on the event in equally stellar fashion.
Wilson indicated that the power of reggae and brand Jamaica was on show with more than four continents represented among viewers. The United States represented the biggest audience, 19.4 per cent, followed by Jamaica with 13.5 per cent.
“We are happy to keep reggae music alive and keep brand Jamaica going. We were the number one trending topic in Jamaica,” Wilson said, adding “People from all over the world tuned in…parts of Africa, the UK, Japan, the US, Caribbean…”
(From left) Aaron Spence - Founder & CEO of Kaboom Nation, Debbie Bissoon - Reggae Sunsplash Producer, Richard Hoo Kim Executive Technical Director of Clearsound Production Services & Reggae Sunsplash, Randy Mattis - Reggae Sunsplash Producer and Tyrone Wilson - Executive Producer, Reggae Sunsplash.
Once the premier reggae festival in the world, Reggae Sunsplash has featured the likes of Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Freddie McGregor, Bunny Wailer, Terror Fabulous, Tiger, Lady Patra, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Papa San, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and other iconic names of reggae and dancehall.
Randy Mattis, Festival Co-Producer of Reggae Sunsplash, said: “Reggae Sunsplash from its inception has been a great platform for showcasing our talented musicians locally and internationally. It has always been about bringing people together and we are honoured to have been able to present our interpretation of what the festival would have evolved into if it had continued on the path that it was on.
“We look forward to continuing that vision of bringing people together through the showcase of our music,” Mattis added.
Wilson noted that organisers were particularly happy to lift spirits among reggae lovers “at a time when the environment is severely impacted by COVID-19.”
He added: “We are pleased about the entire execution of the event which really set the stage, in my view, for virtual events going forward.”