The 2019 Jamaica Festival Song finalists will roll into the southern parishes of St. Elizabeth and St. Catherine this weekend, as they continue their month-long, island-wide, free, performance road tour, aimed at bringing the impending Independence spirit to the masses. All 11 finalists will have audiences singing and waving along to the patriotic Festival Songs at the Santa Plaza in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth on Friday, June 28, and at Munimar Square, Spanish Town on Saturday, June 29, with both events beginning at 7:00 PM.
“The public’s reception of the road tour has been phenomenal! When we rolled through Christina, Manchester, Port Antonio and even Montego Bay, the crowd at each leg was moving and singing along with the finalists, like these were songs that they grew up with. So we are excited to hit the road again this weekend and we hope that patrons in St. Elizabeth and St. Catherine are ready for the flag-waving good time that we will be bringing their way,” Said Mr. Orville Hill, Chairman of the Jamaica Festival Song Committee.
“The main aim of the road tour is to give members of the public across the island the opportunity to get know the winning songs and the artistes, while catching the Independence spirit. We are trying to cover as many parishes as we can as we lead up to the competition’s Grand Finale in July, at which the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica’s 57th Anniversary of Independence, will be selected,” Hill said.
After it pulls out of St. Catherine this Saturday, the road tour will pick up again in St. Ann at Ocho Rios Square on Friday, July 5, beginning at 7:00 PM. This will be followed by a performance motorcade through the busiest hubs of St. Catherine and Kingston, on Saturday, July 6, beginning at 10:00 AM.
The road tour will officially end with the competition’s free Grand Final on Saturday, July 27 at the National Arena in Kingston, beginning at 8:00 PM.
“The road shows are an excellent warm up for the finale. The finalists have been outdoing themselves with each new performance, so I know we can look forward to a fantastic Grand Final,” Hill said.
A signature programme of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an Agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Jamaica Festival Song Competition started in 1966, and continues to serve as a musical platform for cultural exposition and for entrants to make an indelible mark on Jamaica and the world. The competition boasts past winners like Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Decker, Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon, Heather Grant and Stanley Beckford.