The Pop and Variety Contest was re-introduced and rebranded in 2014 as The Big Stage. This reintroduction reflects the Commission’s commitment to unearthing, developing, showcasing and preserving the creative talents of Jamaicans. At inception, the Pop and Variety Contest was a part of the Commission’s effort in the 1960s to promote Ska, Jamaica’s first expression of popular music, the people’s music as well as to keep Mento alive.
There were many noted individuals who contributed to the development of this Contest in the Entertainment Arts portfolio including the late cultural activist, radio talk show host and musicologist, Tony Laing. Many prominent entertainers including Lt. Stitchie, Tony Rebel, Yellow Man, Pinchers and Pliers and gospel sensation Papa San were participants in this Contest.
Today, the Big Stage remains an outlet for many Jamaicans from all walks of life to display their creative and diverse talents.