No title sponsor for Ghetto Splash

November 05, 2018
Patrick Roberts
Patrick Roberts
Wayne Marshall

With just five weeks left on its countdown calendar, Ghetto Splash has hit a major setback. After five consecutive years of support from title sponsor BOOM Energy Drink, the concert, scheduled to take place on December 18 at Waterhouse Mini-Stadium, St Andrew, has been left out in the cold. Event organiser Patrick Roberts told The STAR that he received word on the refusal of title sponsorship just last week. 

According to Roberts, the primary objective of Ghetto is and always has been to foster peace. "What it stands for is what every Jamaican yearns for - to have a peaceful Christmas, to have a peaceful Jamaica. One of the main objectives was to see how we can give back to those who can't afford to go to Sting, for example," he said, referring to the annual Boxing Day concert last held in 2015.

Ghetto Splash is able to sustain its free admittance because the cost to book the artistes is virtually zero, Roberts saying "the artistes give their full blessings and respects. They believe in the show and perform free of cost for thousands." As such, much of the organisers' expense is in production. "We have to call upon corporate Jamaica, for them to see an event of this nature and put their backing towards it," Roberts said. 


Roberts recalled the event's 1996 staging, despite the threat of a crime wave in downtown Kingston. "There was a wave of violence across the city. The police were saying we shouldn't keep it or, if we do, it should be in the day," he said. Determined that the show must go on, planners and promoters of the concert went from community to community. " "We went right across the environs of Heroes' Circle; ventured out to talk to people and make them buy into it - a one day, free event for reggae. It was accepted and the police realised," he said, recalling that the concert enjoyed a crowd of approximately 50,000 people in National Heroes Park.

"In that historical moment, we have former Prime Ministers the Hon. P.J. Patterson, the Hon. Edward Seaga, and Bruce Golding. I had the opportunity to carry all three leaders on to the stage, and held their hands together," Roberts said. 

Though the title sponsors have pulled out, Roberts reports other agencies remain on board. "The CHASE Fund and the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation - both government agencies have been fully supportive and endorse the event," he said. Ghetto Splash also has the support of Downsound Entertainment and PeerSounds.

Currently billed to perform on this year's staging of Ghetto Splash are Popcaan, Aidonia, Beenie Man, Govana, Dre Island, Tarrus Riley, Sanchez, Jah Cure, Wayne Marshall, Flourgon, Burru Banton, Mad Cobra and others. "The artistes are already on board. That's the greatest thing, that a show of this nature is fully endorsed by the artistes," Roberts said. 

All that's left is a title sponsor.

Other Entertainment Stories