The venue is Mandela Park, right across the street from the Half Way Tree Transportation Centre. For previous editions of Reggae Month the venue was the Ranny Williams Entertainment Center off Hope Road. A huge venue where a Reggae Village was built and where most of the events, from Live shows to discussion evenings, took place. This year no central venue but events throughout the city.
Mandela Park is an interesting venue, to say the least. It is in the heart of Kingston's bustling Half Way Tree area. The streets surrounding the park are overflown with evening traffic, horns blaring, exhausts fuming. The park has an amphitheater, always a geat setup to enjoy a show because you get to interact with those surrounding you and you can see the stage from every position. It's never too crowded, and you only have to walk to the front of the stage to take a picture of your favorite artist.
The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists. DJ Major Mackerel can be spotted dancing with the tourists in front of the stage. It's already a party when Lloyd Parks and the We the People band take the stage. We the People will be the backup band for the rest of the artists. We enjoy energetic performances by Leroy Sibbles, Big Youth and Half Pint. When David Rodigan takes over he pleads the government of Jamaica to invest in a Reggae Museum to preserve the history of the genre. His BBC 1 extra team plays a great set of reggae classics and exclusive dubs. Stone Love sound closes the party with an energetic set as expected from the world's immortal sound. The whole thing started at 7 pm and ends at 1 am. I love early shows. We decide to call it a night after I had a finger licking good plate of curried chicken neck.