Jamaica Festival Song returns 2018 with $10 million prize purse

The Honourable Olivia Grange, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport with past Jamaica Festival Song Competition winners, Roy Rayon and Tinga Stewart (left to right) and Silvero Castro, Commissioner at the JCDC at the launch of the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The event was held at The Twenty-Three Bar on Dominica Drive in New Kingston yesterday (November 30). The Honourable Olivia Grange, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport with past Jamaica Festival Song Competition winners, Roy Rayon and Tinga Stewart (left to right) and Silvero Castro, Commissioner at the JCDC at the launch of the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The event was held at The Twenty-Three Bar on Dominica Drive in New Kingston yesterday (November 30).

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has announced the return of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition which will now offer a record prize purse of $10 million in cash and prizes.

Making its return in 2018, Jamaica’s oldest song contest and will also see major improvements in its format and presentation, as well as the quality of entries.

Minister Grange officially launched the competition on Thursday, November 30, at the Twenty-Three Bar in New Kingston.

She declared that, “it will be a bigger and better Festival Song Competition,” recalling that the Competition had been a launching pad for the careers of several outstanding singers and performers.

“It must become that again and fulfil the mandate of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to unearth and develop talent. We can and must get the excitement back.”

The Minister said that the new-look programme was beginning with Thursday night’s launch, eight months before the official Jamaica Festival period and the announcement of a winner in July.

Among the activities that will take place leading up to the finals is a series of developmental workshops across the country to address writing, performance and publishing rights, intellectual property rights as well as imaging and branding.  There will also be a series of road shows and special appearances which will give the performers the necessary exposure and give members of the public the opportunity to get to know the songs and the performers.

Miss Grange added that the organisers of the competition will be courting participation from members of the Diaspora in the selection of a winner, through the production of music videos, social media postings and livestreaming of road shows and special appearances.

Interim Executive Director of the JCDC Orville Hill said the agency was committed to executing a first class competition, which would boost national pride and spread euphoria across the nation during the independence period.

Mr Hill said, “Jamaica needs the Festival Song Competition and I am encouraging all the talent across the island and in the Diaspora to get their entries in because this can be a life changer for many people.”

Jamaica Festival Committee Chairman Vernon Derby said all systems are being put in place to roll out the program of activities which will facilitate the widest national participation possible.

The overall prize purse of $10 million is to be shared among the performers, songwriters and producers. The sum includes cash prizes for the Top Ten finalists as well as other consolation prizes.

There were nostalgic performances on Thursday night by past Festival Song winners Roy Rayon, Abby Dallas and reigning champion Nazzleman.

Interested parties are asked to visit the website of the JCDC www.jcdc.gov.jm to download entry forms and to visit the agency’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/jamaicafestivalsongcompetition or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

MCGES

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Olivia Grange

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