According to Caribbean News Now!, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, reported that Jamaica could soon be host to one of the world’s biggest music festivals. And no, it doesn’t involve EDM.
The world famous Woodstock Festival may soon head to the island nation for its first ever appearance in the Caribbean. Speaking in Montego Bay recently, Crawford said he had already begun discussions for the event, which would include big-name reggae artists, with local promoters.
“I called the (representatives) at Woodstock and ask them to consider having a reggae Woodstock in Jamaica. A member is coming down shortly to have a meeting,” Crawford said.
Crawford, who was sworn in on January 2012, said if the talks were favorable, he would be pushing to receive private sector support. This way, Jamaica’s government wouldn’t be involved in the planning, promotion, and staging of the festival.
“Government is not a promoter and entertainment needs people who are willing to take the risk,” he explained, reaffirming his position on the decision.
In 1969, the Woodstock Festival – commonly referred to as simply Woodstock – was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: Three Days of Peace and Music.” The event took place from August 15th to 18th and was held in a time of revolution and unrest at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the quiet town of Bethel, New York. Altogether, the weekend staged 32 acts to a crowd of 400,000 young people, including Arlo Guthrie, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane among others, creating a whirlwind of national noise.
Because of its resulting legacy, the festival is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, with publications like Rolling Stone referring to as one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll.
“We are establishing an entertainment registry so that persons wishing to make contact with performers will find it easier to do so,” Crawford said. “The top eight reggae festivals in the world outside of Jamaica attract some 300,000 people. Jamaica is seeking to attract at least 10 percent of these festivalgoers.”