It's not just about bringing reggae back to prominence or filling the gap for local stage shows, it's about charity.
The organisers of Reggae to Reggae, a first-time event, not only want to strengthen Jamaica's musical culture, but empower the country's citizens.
"Reggae music is about peace, love, unity, and kindness, and so if we are going to bring that culture to Portland and market it, we must do so the right way so that the people can feel the legitimacy of the promoters and the spirit of reggae music. Reggae music preaches love and kindness, and we are essentially practising what we preach," said Theresa Smalls, Reggae to Reggae's publicist.
Reggae to Reggae will be held at the Carder Park Complex, Port Antonio, Portland, tonight and will feature performances from more than 40 reggae artistes.
According to Smalls, the majority of the acts billed for the show are offering their services at reduced rates in order to facilitate the development of reggae music in Portland.
"The artistes on-board genuinely want to see reggae music return to its former glory, and as such, they have partnered with Valgen Entertainment, Youngster Productions, and Conscious Productions to give world-class entertainment to the Portland people. At the same time, they understand that this is a first-time event and we want to make a statement. With that mutual understanding, they are playing their part, and we are very appreciative of that. This is why it is imperative that we spread the love by contributing to charity because good influences good," Smalls said.
The charity will cater to select individuals or institutions, following the potentially successful stage show. Valgen Entertainment, Youngster Productions, and Conscious Productions are currently doing on-the-ground research to ascertain who or what institutions best qualify to benefit from the charity.
The Reggae to Reggae stageshow starts at 8 p.m. Artistes billed to perform include Jah Cure, I-Wayne, Sizzla, KipRich, Junior Reid, Ninja Man, Louie Culture, Ken Boothe, Fantan Mojah, Natty King, Duane Stephenson, Delus, Lutan Fyah, Nitty Kutchie, and Ghost.
Patrons blew their horns in support of 'host' Tony Rebel, Professor Nuts, Louie Culture, Etana, Marcia Griffiths and Tarrus Riley. However, it was Beres Hammond for whom the plastic horns resonated loudest. There was not a dull moment. In his 45-minute set, as he rocked his audience with songs like She Loves Me Now, Step Aside, I Feel Good, Falling in Love and Can't Stop. "It has been too long Jamaica and I am happy to be here performing for you once more," an energetic Hammond told approving fans. Minutes to midnight, Tony Rebel celebrated his birthday by belting out some of his most popular hits like Fresh Vegetable and If Jah Is Standing By My Side.