International Reggae Day (IRD), the annual global celebration of reggae culture, returns on Friday July 1 2022. This year's theme commemorates the 60th anniversary of ska music.
IRD UK is co-ordinated by BBM/BMC (BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress), which will be delivering hub events, in association with Reggae Fraternity UK (RFUK), Reggae Global & Culture 2022, Sound System Outernational and Shining Stars.
For the third year running, the July 1 hub event will be delivered online via Zoom. The first half, which is a conference, will in addition to 'Ska @ 60', cover the IRD UK sub-themes 'Lover's Rock @ 50' and 'Region Focus: Southampton & Bristol'. Marketing veteran Rudi Page of Reggae Global & Culture 2022 will lead on the Jamaica60 programming.
The latter half of the free event will consist of multi-genre DJ sets, including a nod to 'Lover's Rock @ 50', 'Women In Reggae', and a memoriam to recently deceased British and Jamaican reggae artists and industryites, plus recognition of singer Nicky Thomas, who died in London thirty-two years. The evening will be rounded off with a Shining Stars live showcase, produced by the host of the evening Allison Mason.
The IRD UK People’s Choice UK Reggae Music Poll, which will highlight the top 20 singles and albums of 2021, comes with an additional category this year. The ‘Favourite UK Reggae Riddim’ category will offer fans, artists and industryites a new opportunity to highlight the work of UK producers and labels. Voting starts on June 7 and ends midnight June 20.
Many IRD UK-associated stations will be encouraged to feature the playlists from the Top 20 albums and singles. RFUK will provide presenters and radio stations with links to the records from participating producers and labels.
A number of Xtra IRD UK hub events are in the works. Radio presenter Stevie J will broadcast an IRD UK Special featuring UK lover's rock artists from the last two years. This and other content to be broadcast across a number of community radio stations, will be led by FreshFM Radio London.
This year, there are a number of out of London satellite events and activities, and community radio tie-ups, to be announced at a later date. Also, a pre-IRD roundtable meeting is planned for late June to discussing returning to a physical event in 2023, which will have a strong music industry focus.