And ahead of their most recent stagings, a representative of each event has complained about the lack of corporate support, or sponsorship.
The 15-year-old GT Taylor Extravaganza is named after the businessman, sound system operator and radio disc jock who has put it on at Independence Park, St Elizabeth, each Christmas Day.
Sting, organised by Supreme Promotions, takes place on Boxing Day at Jamworld, Portmore, St Catherine, and marked its 32nd staging in December 2015.
And the 23rd Rebel Salute, organised by the Organic H.E.A.R.T. Group of Companies, was held on Friday and Saturday at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, Priory, St Ann.
In a previous interview with The STAR, Taylor, while thanking Extravaganza 2015 main sponsor BOOM, said, “I don’t know what is happening these days where sponsors are concerned… . But where stage shows are concerned, I think sponsors are drifting from stage shows. No matter how good the event is, they are not supporting.”
He attributed the change from a situation where there was higher stage show sponsorship to a generation gap.
Taylor said, “There is a new trend where these brand managers are concerned now. The older brand managers used to be in the streets more, so they know what event the people are going. But these brand managers these days, I am seeing they are more gravitating to parties.”
“There are younger brand managers in the business. Somehow, they don’t see reggae artistes, reggae stage shows, as a event that would really sell the product,” Taylor said.
And Isaiah Laing, head of Supreme Promotions, specified a type of event which is not being supported.
He said, “Everybody neglect dancehall. The hardcore dancehall get neglected all the time.”
Junior ‘Heavy D’ Frazer, also of Supreme Promotions, illustrated what he sees as sponsorship bias at the state level. In 2013, Sting was sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB). The association did not last.
“Make me show you the odds we have against we as hardcore dancehall. Sizzla come pon Sting. Tourist Board sponsor us one time. Sizzla come on board and say whe him a say. We ban Sizzla. And them say them nah sponsor we again. But them sponsor Dream Weekend with Sizzla an him go back dung deh an cuss an do all sorta ting. An nobody no say nutten and dem still sponsor it back without any argument,” Heavy D said.
At Sting 2015, as a number of entertainers performed lyrics against homosexuality. At one point, MC Nuffy cautioned one deejay in particular, then commented that it is a reason why some sponsors stay away.
Tony Rebel of Organic H.E.A.R.T. was adamant that the quality of the event he is a part of organising does not attract the corporate support that it should.
“We no get the type of sponsor we deserve. To me, the reciprocal kind of vibe that we offer, a lot of people could benefit from Rebel Salute,” Tony Rebel said.
He speculated that part of the event’s basic characteristics play a part in the deficiency.
“But I guess because it is Rastafarian-oriented and grassroots-oriented,” Tony Rebel said, but then adding, “It is also family-oriented.”
Rebel said, the corporate entities must support music and “Love what is Jamaican and support it and respect it. These things are things that are doing justice for them.”