by Howard Campbell
[MIAMI] – Frustrated by COVID-19 restrictions, fans across the United States are calling for a return to live music. It is no surprise that hundreds of them traveled on January 2 for the Reggae Jam Festival at the Wynwood Oasis.
An estimated 2,500 patrons were in the trendy Miami spot to watch headliners Inner Circle and The Wailers. They were supported by Jemere Morgan and other local actors.
That the event drew a near full house was satisfactory to Abebe Lewis, who led the promotion of the Reggae Jam Festival.
âThe participation was incredible. More than 2000 people! The response has been incredible; real reggae music, real instruments and players. The crowd was so diverseâ¦ black, white, Spanish, young, old. Jamaicans, Haitians. There were so many cultures, âhe said.
Inner Circle and The Wailers have been around since the 1960s. Before the global COVID-19 lockdown, they were some of the best reggae groups on tour.
Since 2020, the lockdown has forced the cancellation of the European summer reggae festival circuit from which many Jamaican artists derive most of their income. Over the past year, numerous live reggae events have taken place in Florida, Texas, and California.
The Reggae Jam Festival is promoted by Inner Circle bassist Ian Lewis. First staged in 2018, previous shows have featured Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Mykal Roze and Steel Pulse.
The 2021 show has been canceled due to COVID-19.