Held on July 1, International Reggae Day is an international media event celebrating the best of Jamaica's creativity and its impact on culture worldwide.
International Reggae Day is not confined to Jamaica but is in fact an international media event celebrating the best of Jamaica's creativity and its impact on culture worldwide. The aim of its founder, Andrea Davis, is to create a yearly global reggae party on July 1. The ideafor International Reggae Day came to her following a speech by Winnie Mandela who talked about the inspiration reggae music gave to the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. This motivated Andrea Davis to launch the first International Reggae Day in 1994. Jamaicans and people around the world are invited to participate in the ILOVEJA campaign by wearing their Reggae colours, listen to Reggae, log on to the IRD website, drink a Red Stripe, donate to a Jamaican charity and plant a tree. The 2014 edition was the 20th staging of IRD and this year's theme was 'you reap what you sow'.
International Reggae Day is always on July 1
There are licenced IRD events worldwide and events in Jamaica, most of them in Kingston. Past celebrations have included Kingston concert festival events, workshops/forum, talent search, family day/kids village, awards, unplugged concerts, product launches (restaurants/books/albums/singles etc), fashion shows, dance, art exhibits and culinary presentations.
Some 35 cities across the globe are staging IRD events on July 1. Check the IRD website and Facebook page to see if there's an event near you. In Jamaica the main event will be the staging of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency-sponsored conference at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew. The conference will focus on both Kingston as a creative city and navigating the digital content economy. There are a numer of IRD related musical events in Jamaica such as Clarendon Live, featuring Duane Stephenson and Etana at the Fyahside Jerk Centre in Toll Gate, Clarendon and Startime at Clarendon Park come tomorrow with Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor and Derrick Morgan. In New York, a special event is being held featuring an acoustic performance by Toots and the Maytals in observance of International Reggae Day.