The community of Belmont in Westmoreland is gearing up for the two-night Reggae concert series in celebration of the 79th birthday of Reggae legend Peter Tosh this Friday, October 20, and Saturday, October 21.
Dubbed “A tribute to the Great Honourable Peter Tosh”, the shows are set for the Blue Ocean Sands Restaurant, in Belmont, located less than an hour’s drive from the resort town of Negril.
The two-night event will be headlined by some of Reggae’s finest performers, among them Bushman, I Wayne, Fantan Mojah, Little Hero, Admiral Tibet, Warrior King, Zamunda, Terry Linen, Duane Stephenson, and Peter Tosh’s son Andrew Tosh.
“Everything is on track and everything looks good so far. I can’t wait for the first night on Friday,” event promoter Delva “Serial” Dixon, told DancehallMag.
He said he felt that it was important that the celebrations, which have not been held in the community for several years, be revivified this year and so had sought and received the blessing of the McIntosh family and the Peter Tosh Foundation.
“I reached out to the family, to the Foundation and they gave me the Okay. So it’s a blessing to be a part of it and get the Okay to go ahead and keep the event here,” Dixon said.
The artists, he said, all jumped at the opportunity to support the celebrations for the Mystic Man, who has the distinction of being dubbed the world’s foremost Ganja legalization advocate.
“I have been travelling between Jamaica and the US for 30 years, so I always promote shows locally and overseas, and so, I have those connections. I reached out to the artistes and let them know it’s Peter Tosh show we doing and especially Bushman, said it was a pleasure to be a part of it,” Dixon explained.
“What is special about this show, is that Andrew Tosh and Bushman will perform together. They talked to me about it and they are going to do one of Peter Tosh’s songs together onstage,” he added.
Continued Dixon: “Growing up in the community of Belmont where Peter was raised and where his body rests. Growing up and hearing my mom and my family and everybody talking about him and playing his music, I know his songs from start to finish. It end up that he became my favourite artiste of all time. We are from the same place so anywhere I go in the world, I represent for Belmont,” he stated.
Dixon said that Peter Tosh is regarded as a hero in Belmont, where the Westmorelite spent his formative years, and much of his downtime whilst an artist, and, where his mausoleum, his final resting place, is located.
“Peter is our prophet, you know. The community looks up to Peter. We know the calibre of artiste he is and how people around the world look at him. That is why we doing all these shows, because we want to put his place on the world map. Because we know how powerful his music and his influence is,” he said.
“Tourists come here every day and talk about him and we see the powers of him. He means everything to us. The community is right behind it. Belmont right now, only Negril in Westmoreland bring more tourists than this little community, and Peter Tosh is one of the reasons why they come here,” he explained.
The Serial International Sound operator said that the mausoleum where the Legalize It singer is buried in the community, has been repainted and has had a new gate affixed, which is befitting of the legend.
“There is a new gate that went up last week… tomorrow the painters will come in and paint. It is going to be different. We are doing three-day cleanup. The whole community helped to cut and clear. Right now we paint the community in red, green and gold. All of the sea wall and light post from one end to the next end. Vehicles are slowing down and looking at it,” he beamed.
In the meantime, Dixon says he will ensure the celebrations go back to being an annual event, with initial plans for Peter’s 80th celebrations already in place.
“We already have Anthony B and couple artistes on board for next year,” he revealed.