International Reggae Day (IRD) is JulyOne

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International Reggae Day Over 2 Days, Across North And South London


The London hub events of this year's International Reggae Day (IRD) UK takes place on June 30 at Goldsmiths, University of London in New Cross, and on July 1 in the north London borough of Brent.


The day's conference at Goldsmiths starts at noon with an exclusive, free screening of 'Rudeboy: The Story Of Trojan Records', which tells the story of Britain's contribution to the development of reggae, and ends with a sound system and artist performance.


The main theme is 'Reggae's Influence On British R&B/Soul', which will be explored through videos and contributions by acts including R&B/reggae group, the Cool Notes, soul singer Noel McKoy and R&B/reggae group Simplicity. The sub-theme is 'Reggae And Mental Health & Wellbeing', which will be led by Harrow Mencap, and music industry organisations Performing Right Society (PRS) and Musicians' Union.


'Talking Copyright, Intellectual Property & Protecting Reggae', explores the legal and economic implications of UNESCO's recent addition of reggae unto its Cultural Heritage List.


IRD, which was started by Jamaica Arts Holdings Ltd twenty-five years ago, is an annual global celebration of reggae music on July 1. It's co-ordinated in the UK by Music Congress (BBM/BMC) in association with Reggae Fraternity UK, with this year's being the third and the biggest.


In Brent, which will mark its London Borough Of Culture in 2020 with a strong programme of reggae events, a plaque will be unveiled by the Reggae Tree planted last year in Harlesden. This will be followed by a conference featuring veterans from retailing, management, community radio, and labels, who helped establish Brent as the key location for the reggae business in the UK.


Ahead of IRD, this year's British Black Music Month, which is also organised by BBM/BMC, has two reggae-themed events. 'Windrush, Migration & Reggae' takes place on June 17 at Conway Hall in Holborn, and 'Talking Copyright: Exploring UNESCO 'Protection' Of Reggae', takes place at City, University Of London on June 26. Also, the monthly Catch A Fire club night at the Ritzy in Brixton will mark IRD on July 7.


“Whilst we are keen to have licensed IRD UK events especially outside London, we are happy to slowly build the concept here,” says BBM/BMC founder Kwaku. “This year, we've got music industry organisations such as the PRS, Musicians' Union, Trojan and VP Records, Goldsmiths University, Sound System Outernational, several community radio stations, including Chaaawaaa Radio, and The Voice on board.


“We are open to working with all sectors of the reggae industry, and hope to develop IRD into the number one reggae knowledge-sharing and networking opportunity in the UK,” adds Kwaku.


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