Scene from Lovers Rock the movie

Reggae rules at Festival Jamaica 2012
London’s premier destination for Jamaican culture.

Reggae will take centre stage in a festival being held in Stratford, East London to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence.

Live reggae music, film, theatre and more will form part of Festival Jamaica 2012 during the 17-day celebrations being held at the Maryland Complex, a mere 10 minutes from the Olympic Park in Stratford.

Reggae acts such as The Aces (Desmond Dekker’s legendary band), who’ll be performing some of their hits including ‘The Israelites’ and ‘007’, and Jamaican band No-Maddz, who featured alongside Usain Bolt as part of PUMA’s Faas campaign, will be part of the live music offering on the 27th July and 7th August respectively.

There will also be a Lovers Rock Night, featuring Trevor Walters, Joy Mack, Audrey Scott, Micheal Gordon, Paul Dawkins and Peter Hunnigale, showcasing classic British reggae music at its best on 29th July.

On the evenings of 1-3 August, patrons will be able to enjoy a night of musical theatre and a buffet meal from celebrity chef Colin Brown as the stage version of The Harder They Come, featuring timeless songs made famous by Jimmy Cliff, The Maytals and Desmond Dekker, will be the main room event.

It’s not just one-off specials though – A key aspect of Festival Jamaica 2012 is The Reggae Exhibition – open throughout the event, documenting Jamaica’s rich musical heritage from Mento to Dancehall.

As part of the ‘Sound Systems and Dancehall’ exhibit, for example, the story

Desmond Dekker. Photo courtesy lawless-street.com

from its conception in the 1960’s to the current day will be showcased.

“Using clever visuals, sound and lighting, we’ll recreate the Jamaican dancehall scene. Visitors feel the hypnotic rhythms of reggae and dancehall, they see the Dancehall artistes and they participate in the fashion and dance trends made popular in dancehall music” explained Co-Founder Aaron Hendricks.

The Reggae Exhibition will also include workshops and documentaries focusing on British and international reggae, the influence of Rastafarianism on reggae and early Jamaican music forms such as Mento and Ska.

With the Festival Jamaica 2012 extravaganza coinciding with the major global sporting event nearby, it should come as no surprise that there will be a big outdoor screen for visitors to enjoy watching key events in a carnival atmosphere.

The Festival Jamaica 2012 experience will be a fun and celebratory family event, educating and entertaining visitors with the experience of Jamaican culture, film, music and food, while also celebrating and showcasing Jamaica’s many achievements.

For more information on Festival Jamaica 2012 and to purchase tickets, visit: http://festivaljamaica2012.com/