The Carnival in Jamaica (CIJ) National Stakeholders Committee has announced that the carnival festival season for 2022 is set to begin Friday, July 1, ending with the road march in Kingston on July 10.
This is a welcome announcement for the entertainment industry that has suffered severe losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kamal Bankay, co-chair of the umbrella group CIJ National Stakeholders Committee is ecstatic that they will be able to plan and execute another carnival season.
“We are beyond happy to be able to announce, plan and execute another amazing carnival season for all the CIJ revelers we have missed since 2019. Having the event sector closed was devastating to us all but we believe there is no better way to officially start summer than with a carnival. Additionally, Carnival in Jamaica is the biggest entertainment and tourism earner for our country, with an economic impact of over $4 billion annually,” said Bankay.
Several bands and fête have started to prepare for this season to ensure that it is one to remember. However, this year’s staging will happen without Xaymaca International.
According to the band leader, Andrew Bellamy the expected returns from a July Carnival may not be realized due to competing carnivals.
“Our research has shown that carnival chasers regionally and internationally have already made commitments to carnivals and bands that have announced their carnival dates which are within their usual carnival cycle. As such, it is highly unlikely that they will be coming to Jamaica because July is not within our usual carnival cycle.”
Bellamy further added that they will not participate out of respect and prior commitments to their partners.
“We wish all the bands a successful road march in July, but out of respect and prior commitments to our regional and international partners who will be having road marches during that period, we have decided that it is best if we organize our band for a subsequent staging in Jamaica,” said Xaymaca Band Leader Andrew Bellamy.
The carnival season is one of Jamaica’s largest employers of people within the creative sector and with the two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, many employers within the industry are grateful for the reopening of the entertainment industry.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently announced the full reopening of Jamaica’s entertainment industry where he stated that in the six months of the reopening, permit fees will be reduced by 50 percent.
Carnival in Jamaica was launched in 2017 and is used as the umbrella brand for all carnival activities during the period.
A calendar of events will be released soon for the 2022 season. In 2023 Carnival in Jamaica will return to its usual staging in April.