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International Reggae Day 2018 Celebrates the Creative Journey Shared by Jamaica and the UK

Updated: May 22, 2018

February 28, 2018

Joint Press Release From Jamaica Arts Holdings, producer of International Reggae Day (IRD) worldwide, and Music Congress, IRD UK sub-licensor

Kingston, Jamaica London, United Kingdom

As February, which is designated Reggae Month in Jamaica, ends, all Reggae fans are reminded that JulyOne is the International Reggae Day (IRD) global festival.

Started in 1994 by Kingston, Jamaica-based Jamaica Arts Holdings, IRD is the annual 24-hour global celebration of Jamaican music and culture on JulyOne.

This year Jamaica Arts Holdings has appointed Music Congress (BBM/BMC) as its sub-licensor for co-ordinating official IRD events in the UK. And in a year which marks UK's role in the development of Reggae in the last 50 years, the 2018 theme is 'Jamaica To UK: The Reggae Revolution'.

According to IRD founder Andrea Davis, "We are very pleased to be partnering with Music Congress (BBM/BMC) to further develop the brand experience in the UK and to expand the impact and recognition of Jamaican music as a dynamic socio economic cultural force which has shaped the development of Jamaica, the UK and the world over the last 50 years. 

The final list of events will soon be published on the IRD JA and UK websites, which are currently being developed. The hub events organised by BBM/BMC and its IRD UK partners, which include Reggae Fraternity UK, Reggae Village Trinity, Ready For The World, Goldsmiths, University Of London, HiCrEC Music, UKUNSIGNED and Brent Black Music Co-op, consists of:

  • 'Reggae Tree' planting in Harlesden to underscore Harlesden and Brent's claim to being the Reggae capital of British Reggae. It is hoped the 'Reggae Tree' would have become one of the north-west London borough's cultural assets by the time Brent celebrates its Borough of Culture status in 2020. 

  • A day's conference of talks, films, music and awards covering Reggae history, copyright, highlighting Reggae sector issues and some the veterans in front and behind the microphone.

  • A Reggae @ 50 photographic exhibition commemorating 'Women In Reggae'. 

  • HiCrEC Music in association with BBM/BMC, UKUNSIGNED and BBMC (Brent Black Music Co-op) will celebrate IRD, British Black Music Month and Brent Black Music History Live with a live concert highlighting production and performing group Ruff Cutt's 35 years plus career and performances by British and Jamaican reggae acts who have had a career association with Brent. Since the earliest 1960s, Brent has been the cornerstone of Reggae music in the UK. The borough’s influence stretches from behind the scenes in management, recording and distribution, through to local and international singers and musicians.

Satellite events by IRD UK Collective members include a Catch A Fire club night, and a veteran UK sound system will be organising a special all-night session.

Kwaku noted that with the BBM/BMC leading the IRD UK movement, "this year we concentrating on building the IRD brand from the community level up. We expect to see official IRD events in various towns and cities across the UK, and strong media support, especially as 2018 marks Reggae @ 50". 


IRD events celebrate the best of Jamaican music and culture promoting 1Love and all performances and audio visual content must be devoid of racist, sexist, misogynistic and foul language or imagery.

For more information and details about acquiring an event license, please email:


Andrea Davis Jamaica Arts Holdings


Last year BBM/BMC organised the first licensed IRD London event at the University Of Westminster's Marylebone campus.

IRD 2017 honoured pioneers of dub. British awardees included Lloyd Coxsone, Dennis Bovell, Mad Professor, and Jah Shaka. Additionally Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson and Paul Dawkins were honoured with BBM/BMC Awards for their five decade contributions to Reggae and for putting Brent on the musical map. The event at Brent Civic Centre, was attended by leader of Brent Council Cllr Mohammed Butt and Brent Central MP Dawn Butler. BBM/BMC received a statement of support for its work from the Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK His Excellency Seth George Ramocan.

IRD JA and IRD UK will collaborate in deciding on the IRD 2018 awardees.

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Joint Press Release From Jamaica Arts Holdings, producer of International Reggae Day (IRD) worldwide, and Music Congress, IRD UK sub-licensor INTERNATIONAL REGGAE DAY 2019


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