American R&B singer Ashanti is the latest international act added to the line-up for Shaggy and Friends concert set for the lawns of Jamaica House on Saturday, January 2.
“Right now, things are really falling into place. But you know how Jamaicans are: they are gonna wait for the last minute to actually purchase the tickets, but what you have is a lot of corporate companies buying the tickets as Christmas gifts for staff and we really appreciate that. We have the line-up of artiste ready but, you know, we always have a few surprises, so patrons can look out for that,” show conceputaliser Shaggy said.
Ashanti joins hip hop act Nelly, girl group En Vogue, international chart-topping Jamaican act OMI, American-based duo R City, and the main headliners. They will be joined by Inner Circle, Bugle, Ding Dong, Popcaan, Beenie Man, Ghost, Terror Fabulous, Nadine Sutherland, and gospel artiste Kevin Downswell.
Shaggy explained that one of the challenges this year is working with the two new sponsors Fiat and iHeartMedia.
“These company’s are accustomed to putting on events like this for themselves. They have no interest in Jamaica and, therefore, the challenge was really getting them on board. What has been good is that they have just rolled with the ball and told us to do what we do,” Shaggy explained.
He said further that promotional activities are taking place on 150 radio stations across the United States under the deal with iHeartMedia, which is reaching an audience of 125 million persons. On the night following the live show, a condensed version of the show will be broadcast across the US, courtesy of iHeartMedia.
The diamond-selling artiste said his team is fine-tuning a parking plan. Other new initiatives include pledge tents at the venue, where patrons can donate directly to the cause, as well a ‘scratch and win’ promotion organised by telecommunications company Digicel.
Started in 2009, Shaggy and Friends concert has raised more than US$ 1.6 million for the Bustamante Hospital for Children.