Planning to visit Jamaica but want to take in the best in entertainment value the island has to offer? You can do it all, but it depends on what you’re into and the time of year you decide to visit.
To help you out, we have put together a list of just a few entertainment events in Jamaica where you can get your party on or just to ‘jam’ and have a good time.
If you want to experience a week-long festival that includes some of the island’s most dominant artistes, as well as listen to some of the biggest reggae hits, this Reggae Sumfest is for you. It is usually held in July, just before the emancipation and independence holidays and features the who’s-who of reggae and dancehall, top selectors, fun activities and theme nights that will leave you drunk with music.
Bob Marley Bash
Everyone knows who Bob Marley is. But if you want to know a little more than the average Joe or Jane, you can check out his annual birthday bash held in Negril. It is usually kept during the week of his birthday, which is celebrated on February 6th and features performances from some of the most well-known and talented reggae artistes. In addition, there are cultural expos to keep your mind occupied, as well as food, art and more music. In addition to the main event in Negril, there are other events across the island associated with Marley’s birthday, so you can enjoy the festivities wherever you are staying.
Accompong Maroon Festival
One of the first set of freedom fighters in Jamaica was the Maroons. You can learn all about them at the Accompong Maroon Festival, held every year in St. Elizabeth in January. Through stories, dancing, music, and food, you will be taken back in time to when the mighty British Army was repeatedly defied by Cudjoe and Nanny, and how they gained freedom for the Maroon people.
There are few party series that can compare to the Dream Weekend, held annually on Jamaica’s Independence weekend. If you want to experience some of the island’s premium parties all within walking distance in the famed tourist destination of Negril, then this is the event for you. Not only is there non-stop partying, complete with food and various refreshments, the area has a number of hotel accommodations and guest houses that you can book. Be warned, though, you often have to book these properties months in advance as they are usually booked out well before the start of the event.
Top reggae icon, Tony Rebel, started Rebel Salute as a birthday bash back in the 90s but within 20 years, it has become one of the most anticipated reggae festivals annually. If you’re into real roots rock reggae, you will enjoy every second of Rebel Salute. It’s also a reggae party with a difference as it features the best in local vegetarian cuisine (no meat is served) and is devoid of alcoholic beverages. It also promotes a drug-free and non-violent atmosphere, highlighted by its selection of artists and positive musical selections.