February 2, 2024
Concerned about the lack of permanent events to commemorate dancehall music, Dave Goldson and his team set about curating Dancehall Week, which will be celebrated February 13-19.
“The idea of Dancehall Week was conceptualised from a mixture of what obtains for week-long music festivals and street parades such as Caribana festival in Toronto and the West Indian Parade in New York, where the reggae floats are considered the most popular. The fact that when Googled there was no stand-alone parade for the celebration of reggae or dancehall music I immediately saw where a week-long celebration was fitting in light that Jamaica has already established Reggae Month,” Goldson, who is the executive director for Dancehall Week, disclosed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer’s Splash on Thursday.
The weeklong celebration coincides with the annual Reggae Month activities and is also one of the approved events under the Reggae Month calendar.
“I decided to focus on dancehall within the Reggae Month and approached [Olivia Grange, minister of culture and entertainment] with the idea, and the rest is history with the endorsement from her ministry, the JCDC [Jamaica Cultural Development Commission] and the Ministry of Tourism.”
There are several events being held across the Corporate Area to celebrate Dancehall Week. They include Dancehall Fashion Road Block on February 13 at Ranny Williams Courtyard; Dancehall Morning Bliss on February 14 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Ranny Williams Courtyard; Dancehall Amour at D’Lux, formerly known as Gee Wee at 1 Caledonia Avenue in Cross Roads.
On February 15, Dancehall Awards will take centre stage at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, while on February 16 it’s all about I Love Dancehall at the National Arena car park.
The action moves over to the Mas Camp for Sound Battle on February 17 featuring Red Heat, Kosmic Movement, High Tension, Sound Trooper, Echo One, and Presto Mix.
On Sunday, February 18 there will be a massive street parade from Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre to Mas Camp. A wrap party follows the street parade at the Mas Camp.
Goldson explained the execution of the street parade.
“During the road march we will be having six trucks on the road celebrating dancehall music, reggae, and the various sub-genres, starting off at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre at 2:00 pm. Costumes are available and patrons have the option to participate in the street parade alongside the trucks or watch from the roadway along the parade route or at our established vibes spots. The parade will end by 6:00 pm at Mas Camp and a wrap party will take us into the night.”
Goldson brings his years of experience in events promotion to Dancehall Week.
“I started off in 2013 with the Stylistics concert that was held at Lime Golf Academy. Thereafter I became a director with Clear Sound Production Services and we have embarked on several major ventures such as The Versus. We then established the Virtual Amusement Centre during COVID and staged the 658 Fest and St Thomas Carnival as in-house projects,” he shared.
Dancehall Week is expected to become a permanent fixture on the Reggae Month calendar.
“People should come to Dancehall Week to celebrate our indigenous dancehall music and share the rich culture and lifestyle that will definitely unfold at our various events throughout the week. A lot more needs to be done to showcase and highlight the achievements of dancehall. I would recommend that the artistes and practitioners be provided with professional mentoring and guidance to become more organised and be able to fully capitalise on the business aspect of the music industry,” Goldson reasoned.
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