So at about 4am this morning I find myself scanning the internet for all the latest reggae news etc. I stumbled on a very interesting story in the Jamaican observer. The headline reads; long live reggae/dancehall. The story basically says that Red Stripe which is a major sponsor for big reggae events such as Sting, Sumfest and others has decided to stop sponsoring all reggae/dancehall events. I am guessing this includes stage shows, clubs and actual dances.
The reason they have given for doing this is; "Some performers continue to propagate, through their live performances, violent and antisocial lyrics." So what does this mean for reggae/dancehall promoters in Jamaica? My guess is that it will definitely hurt the big promoters who have been relying on Red Stripe for years. However, the smaller promoters who normally deal with small companies for sponsorship should be ok.
I honestly think this is silly on the part of Red Stripe, I mean who else supports their brew like reggae lovers especially in the wee hours of the night when the session feels nice. I really hope the reggae/dancehall community in turn boycotts Red Stripe.
I went on their web site hoping to get some more info about this but unfortunately nothing is posted. I did notice that they have several parties lined up for the year, maybe soca/rnb parties?
Reggae/Dancehall promoters, don’t be discouraged, we still have Digicel, B-mobile, Wray & Nephew etc. And if I may, a message to Red Stripe, "IT’S GONNA TAKE A LOT MORE THAN PULLING YOUR MONEY FROM OUR EVENTS TO SHUT US UP"! To the reggae/dancehall community: we still have all the cards, we are keeping the Jamaica economy going, why do you think the tourist come here? Trust me it’s not for the scenery or the beaches (those have all been corrupted). They come for the music, culture & lifestyle and that my friend is what we control.