Live music thrives in Negril

March 06, 2017
Beenie Man (left) and Beres Hammond on stage at Woodstock, Negril, on Valentine's Day 2017.
Warrior King
Richie Spice


Beres Hammond's successful Valentine's Day concert a Woodstock in Negril pulled a large crowd and attention to live music in the Westmoreland tourism hub. However, it was one of an ongoing slate of live music events in Negril which currently run throughout the week, making it a performance hub.

A glance at the slate of events posted online shows the Overtakers Mento Band were at Canoe Beach Bar and Grill yesterday, while Sun Beach Restaurant and Dar had a live reggae and dinner special with the Spellan Band. There was a reggae show at Alfred's Ocean Palace, performers supported by the AOP Band and it was also the second night of the Steppin' High festival centred around marijuana. The two-day event started on Saturday.

The calendar continues tonight with live reggae music on the beach at the Boat Bar, while there is roots, rock, reggae at Roots Bamboo and the concerts keep on going, along with a number of events featuring recorded music, plus a few karaoke events.


Second stint


Deejay Warrior King, who counts Virtuous Woman among his popular songs, had his turn in Negril at the Roots Bamboo last Wednesday, his second stint in the town in two years. He described ideal Jamaican performance conditions. "In Negril you get a longer time than elsewhere," he said. After some opening acts from Negril, he was on stage for an hour. The line-ups are shorter, unlike at other Jamaican performances where "you get 15 minutes to do five or six songs" because there are so many slated performers.

"When I perform in Negril I feel like I am performing outside of Jamaica even though I am still in Jamaica," Warrior King said.

He also noted that audience members come from all over the world, especially the USA and Europe, and the expectations are different as they expect the songs to be done in full. So even when there is a restart when the audience reacts to a song, it is done at length the second time around.

Warrior King said Richie Spice, Black Uhuru and Luciano performed in the same time period that he did. The number of concerts has led to an influx of musicians, Warrior King saying that he saw a number of musicians in Negril who he had not seen for a while.

The professionalism extends to him being required to go to Negril two days before the performance, for production details to be finalised and do any promotion which may be required.

"I feel like I fly out to a different country, even though I drive," Warrior King said.

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