In collaboration with their partners who include the Bob Marley Group and VP Records, the International Reggae Day organizers on Friday, unveiled their major plans for this year’s ‘1Love Rally’ which are set to unfold this Thursday, JulyOne. The annual global celebration of Jamaican music now in its 27th year, will for the second time, host a 24-hour Live Stream event, anchored in the cultural mecca of Kingston, Jamaica. Starting at 12 midnight (JA) and 1:00 a.m.(EST), the hosted programme will be live on www.ireggaeday.com, the official festival website, and curated on the IRD Social platforms: Twitter @ireggaeday and on Facebook and Instagram @internationalreggaeday.
This year’s ‘1Love’ theme is a nod to what is considered the single most central message of Reggae music and programme activities will highlight the various facets of Love. Not just romantic and spiritual love – Love for Self, Family, Community, Culture, Country and the Planet. The IRD organizers are anticipating this year’s activities aligned with these facets, will resonate with Reggae lovers around the globe and inspire collective action.’
At 12:05PM (JA) time, Media and Fans in Jamaica and around the world are being invited to synchronize on air and online, for the 1Love Pull Up – a reggae-infused moment of reflection to re-envision a post COVID world and the possibilities for change with the healing power of love. The 1Love Pull Up on-air call to action will lead off with Bob Marley’s One Love, followed by Dennis Brown’s Love and Hate and ending with Jah Jah Give Us Life to Live by the Wailing Souls. Reggae fans are also being invited to share their messages on social media and on the IRD 1Love Rally Wall, a portal sponsored by American digital firm Kudoboard, to create a groundswell of attention during this scheduled moment of reflection, using the hashtags #1Love, #1LoveRally, #ThisIsMyReggae and #IRD2021.
Linked in from Florida via video, both Cedella and Rita Marley participated in the programme to endorse the campaign and confirm their strategic alliance with IRD2021. “The Bob Marley Group is very happy to again support International Reggae Day, particularly in light of its 1Love theme this year,” noted Cedella Marley. “On JulyOne, we look forward to co-hosting the virtual broadcast on the Tuff Gong Television YouTube channel and will participate in the IRD 1Love Pull Up initiative which will kick off with my father’s One Love anthem, ” she further stated.
The IRD Plant a Reggae Tree initiative aligned with the love for the Planet sub-theme, is being promoted to Reggae fans as a part of their JulyOne checklist along with wearing Reggae colours, listening Reggae music and logging onto ireggaeday.com for 24hours of Reggae magic. In Nigeria, the tree planting challenge has been adopted and the country recently launched its one million Reggae trees planting campaign, which has received official support and is now well underway. On JulyOne, Reggae fans as individuals or in groups, are being encouraged to share their tree planting activities to their social media platforms and on the IRD 1Love Rally Wall.
Founder and Producer of International Reggae Day (IRD), Andrea M. Davis, spoke about the revolutionary nature of the theme 1Love. “First articulated by Jamaican national hero Marcus Garvey, ‘One Love’ was used at the end of his speeches as a call to action for Africans around the world. This powerful affirmation and principle, was later contextualized by Rastafarianism, as a fundamental tenant in the way of life promoted by the movement.
It was Bob Marley, through his international Reggae anthem One Love, who spread this teaching to the four corners of the earth. This ‘One Love’ principle lived and echoed by Bob Marley, continues to be a serve as a strong call to action for disenfranchised and marginalized people around the world. Davis highlighted that “our thematic focus this year was a natural fit given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing threats to humanity of poverty, racism, gender violence and the existential threat that is Climate Change, especially in small island and coastal nations like Jamaica and the Caribbean.” She further noted “Reggae has always been a voice for the voiceless and we decided to amplify the roots of Jamaica’s gift to the world at this time when the world needs it most.”
Richard Lue, Director of Business Development at VP Records explained VP’s continued association with International Reggae Day. “VP’s core business for the past 60 years has been and remains, the promotion of Jamaican music. We are happy to support IRD and look forward to the campaign on JulyOne”. He further highlighted VP’s plans to live stream broadcast segments on their platforms.
From Anguilla to Zimbabwe, International Reggae Day has secured participation from multiple countries. The 24- Hour livestream will be anchored at Itopia Life in Kingston and will broadcast exciting performances from established and upcoming artistes as well as Reggae themed content from Jamaica and across the world. Participating countries represented in the global celebrations 21 countries including Anguilla, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Brasil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Gambia, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, UK, US and Zimbabwe.
Selectas/sound systems from a range of international cities will also be featured as part of the IRD 1Love DJ Relay juggling the best in Jamaican music during the broadcast as well as host special sets on their respective online platforms for JulyOne. Presented in association with DubForce Productions and Pull Up Magazine, DJ participants representing Atlanta, Bahia, Beijing, Birmingham, Bogota, Harare, Johannesburg, Kingston, Lagos, Liverpool, London, Salvador, Sydney and Toronto will keep the party popping across their online platforms.
Three hour-long IRD Panels are scheduled during the 24-hour broadcast on JulyOne. The main JulyOne panel will explore ‘1Love – Wishful Thinking or Revolutionary Action’. A second panel looking at ‘NFTs and the Creative Economy’, will explore this emerging platform for creatives in the digital economy. The third panel hosted by the Association of Rasta Creatives (ARC), will explore ‘Rastafari, Reggae and One Love’. The IRD London stakeholders group led by the British Black Music.com/Black Music Congress and a collective of Reggae music interests, will produce a zoom hub event that will include two panels, guest djs and the announcement of the IRD UK People’s Choice Poll Winners for 2021.
Participating media include on air, online and press from Jamaica to the African continent. Local media partners include IRIE FM, The Edge, Kool FM, RJR Gleaner Group, Mega Jamz, The Roots, Abeng FM, Jamaica Online TV and Hype TV. International media partners include Surf O Reggae (Brasil), GeGe Vibes Radio (Italy), Roots 97.1 (Nigeria), Krucial Reggae Radio (Nigeria), ChrisMixRadio (US), CPR (US), LPI Radio and Zimbabwe TV.
Sponsors and partners for this year’s virtual programme include the Bob Marley Group, Itopia Life, VP Records, Supreme Ventures, John Swaby Entertainment, Harmony House, Kudoboard.com, DubForce Production, Ministry of Culture, Entertainment, Gender & Sports, Jamaica Online TV and the Garvey Institute for Human Development. Production partners include Caribbean Events Group, I-Nation|Highlights, CET-IT Productions, BBrush, Ink & Vision, Yaadbridge, ARTS Agency, Fareye Films and a team of creative and technical talents including editors, set designers, engineers, cameramen, visual artists and of course guest performing artistes and musicians.