Italee upbeat about reggae festival

February 18, 2020

Reggae artiste Italee has high hopes for the upcoming two-day Italee and the Circle of Brethrens Festival.

The first day will be held in Gordon Town, St Andrew, on February 29, while the second, titled 'River Dub', will be held in Penfield Village the following day (March 1).

The roots-rock-reggae festival events will be held under the theme 'Spread the Love, Share the Joy'.

The festival will feature various local acts including No Maddz and Peter Lloyd as well as international acts Brain Holidays from Croatia and guest musician Paul Huppler from Seattle.

How it all began

"I started this festival four years ago, the first one held in 2016, and I normally do a series of it in the Reggae Month period. The house is packed with backpackers and journalists from all over the world and roots rock reggae fans. Now, I am making it a major festival in the middle of Gordon Town Square. I have a great relationship with the Gordon Town community and the support of the police. Papine is a gateway to many communities, and I want to draw a whole lot of people from Tavern, Kintyre, August Town, and open it up to the public," she said.

Italee noted that Gordon Town was a historical landmark.

"I am opening the door to start the push for next year to get the Jamaica Tourist Board, and potential sponsors from the diaspora in the USA have expressed an interest in sponsorship, so this has the potential to be a major event in the future," she said.

Gordon Town Square was renamed the Louise Bennett-Cloverly Square in 2019 in honour of the cultural icon during her centenary celebrations.

"Miss Lou was not only just a resident, but also a beacon of light for the area. Through her philanthropic efforts, she aided in the enrichment and overall development of the neighbourhood," Italee said.

Italee plans to release a six-song EP in March on the Ovastock Records label.

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