Persons encouraged to enter 2018 Festival Song contest

December 28, 2017
Multiple Festival Song Competition winner Roy Rayon.
Kharuso salutes the audience at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, after winning the festival song contest for his entry, 'My Jamaica' in 2010.

Professional and amateur singers are being encouraged to enter the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, which sets the tone for the island's Emancipation and Independence celebrations.

Interim executive director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Orville Hill said that the competition is not restricted to new talent, but is also open to music professionals.

"We want experienced persons in the business to use it as a means of effectively sharing their talent with the Jamaican people," he said.

The competition took a break in 2017, and in its absence, the culture ministry produced a commemorative album featuring a compilation of past entries that didn't win top prize.

The JCDC has named a seven-member committee to oversee the organisation of the 2018 event.

A series of development workshops will also be held in the four JCDC regions, starting in January 2018, to assist persons who have expressed an interest in entering the competition.

Hill said that the workshops are aimed at identifying and developing new talent and will focus on areas such as composition, lyrics, writing, and what it takes to develop an interesting song.

The overall prize money will be $10 million, to be shared among the performers, songwriters, and producers. The top-10 finalists will also receive packages.

Entry forms for the Jamaica Festival Song Competition can be accessed on the JCDC website at, at the JCDC head office on Phoenix Avenue in Kingston, or at any JCDC Parish Office islandwide.

The deadline for submission is February 28, 2018.

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