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Jamaica Festival Song Adds Live Auditions to the Entry Process

The Jamaica Festival Song competition will be hosting a series of live auditions throughout the island ahead of the 2020 staging of the competition. The three auditions will take place in Montego Bay, Mandeville and Kingston; and offer an alternative to persons who will not submit a recorded track as their entry.

The western region will kick start the first live audition on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at the Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, beginning at 3:00 p.m.

 The central region will follow, hosting its audition at the Mandeville Park, Mandeville on Saturday, February 29. The final live audition will be held at the Ranny William's Entertainment Centre, Kingston, on Saturday, March 7.

“We are excited to announce that we will be adding live auditions to the entry process for the competition this year, especially as it is the first in the competition’s history that entrants will be able to flex their performance skills for our adjudicators before they make it to the semi-final round,” said Andrew Clunis, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), the competition’s organizer.

“Live auditions will also give a fighting chance in the competition to our entrants who have raw talent and a winning tune but are unable to have their songs professional produced,” Clunis continued.

The auditions will run from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily and attract a registration fee of $1000 per entry. Entrants have the option of performing acapella or to a backing track, though entry songs do not need to be professionally produced.

Entry songs should be no longer than four minutes, and a lyrics sheet must accompany each entry.

Persons who are not successful at one audition may try again at another audition with a different song.

The Jamaica Festival Song Competition will continue to accept recorded entries at all Parish Offices across the island until Friday, March 6, 2020.

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.