THE annual Toronto arts and culture exposé Rastafest will salute Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence with its first local staging on July 20 to 29 at Nature Village Farm in Anchovy, St James.
Subsequent to the local staging, the festival will be held in Ottawa on August 10 and Downsview Park in Toronto on August 18.
“We are paying tribute to Jamaica 50. Because a lot of Jamaicans from the diaspora, especially from Canada, will be coming down. This year is going to be different from all the festivals we have done in Toronto. It’s going to be bigger, one. Two, more variety of activities,” said Masani Montague, Torontobased Jamaican founder/promoter.
According to the promoter, the entertainment package will be revamped.
“We will have 50 artistes on stage in recognition of Jamaica 50th anniversary. So this year is actually the first time we going this big,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, Brigadeer Jerry, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Edi Fitzroy, Admiral Tibet, General Trees, and Mutabaruka are some of the artistes she hopes will be on this year’s programme.
“I’m in the process of booking. The final booking will come out in April,” she said, adding that there will be football tournament between entertainers and veterans of House of Dread.
“The other thing that will be added to this, we have an all-inclusive package that we’re inviting ones to make opportunity of. The package includes air fare, accommodation, and local transportation. So we’re inviting ones outside of Jamaica who want to be part of it. It will be nine day from July 20 to 29. The concert itself will be on the 28th,” she said.
Started 19 years ago, Rastafest is a free, multi-disciplined festival showcasing different aspects of the Rastafari culture. The festival draws from the rich and diverse Rastafarian lifestyle and history.