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Festival Song Competition Overview


The Jamaica Festival Song Competition

The Jamaica Festival Song Competition since 1966 has been cemented in the landscape of Jamaican Music Culture. The Competition aims to identify a new and original song that is reflective of the spirit of the Jamaican people and to provide a musical back drop for the annual celebration of Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence. 

The Competition is the longest running original song contest in the island and has become a showground for aspiring artistes, songwriters and producers to showcase their talents. Toots and the Maytals, Eric Donaldson, Desmond Decker, Roy Rayon and Stanley Beckford are a few of the past winners, who after winning went on to leave their marks on the world and Jamaica’s musical heritage.


In an effort to restore national interest, patriotism and garner public support, you are asked to identify a winning song that will “Rock the Nation”. The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is seeking to identify a song which:

·       * Is Original (Never performed or aired locally)

·       * Contains no profanity or offensive lyrics

·       * Has a catchy Rhythm and Hook

·       * Is lyrically sound (Good Story Line & Flow)

·       * Inspires participation/crowd appeal

The song should stir a feeling of celebration and should be about Jamaica or Jamaican Culture. The rhythm must be Jamaican and the sound should generate mass appeal.

The winning song is intended to provide the celebratory mood for Emancipation and Independence and also provides the rallying call that mobilizes the public