This photo was taken at the last major event in Kingston Jamaica before Covid 19 hit and quarantine took full effect. The Jamaica Rum Festival was one of the most anticipated events of the year. This annual event showcased all the rum companies in Jamaica such as Appleton Estate Rum, Wray and Nephew, Hampden Estate, Sangsters Jamaica Rum Cream, and Monymusk just to name a few.
You can't have rum and not have food to munch on. There was plenty of food to choose, from jerk chicken to sushi, and other tasty Jamaican favorites. And you can't have rum and food without music. For two days you can have rum, food and music. Fun right? There were other things to do at the festival such as seminars and workshops, rum tasting, and rum, food and cultural exhibitions.
The performers on night one included: Tessellated, Naomi Cowan, Mortimer, Bugle, Protojé, Spragga Benz, and Ding Dong & Ravers. Night two performers included: Indie Allen, Freddie McGregor, Cocoa Tea, Kymani Marley, and Capelton. The performances were the highlight for each night. My favorite performers were Kymani Marley, Ding Dong, and Freedie McGregor. All the performers were great and the crowd was hyped up. It almost felt like all of Jamaica was at that event. There were so many people it was crazy! Check out my vlog below for highlights.
Let me give you the full details of the festival. First of all the tickets went fast and I almost didn't get any. The trick is to buy early as you can get it at a lower price. The pre-sold ticket was $2000 JMD per day. However, I was able to get a two for one deal on Gustazos where I got a weekend pass for two for $3499 JMD. What a deal! The ticket covers your entry, rum samples, stage show, and exhibitions. The downside is you had to pay for food, drinks, seminars, and workshops which is not a bad deal when you look at it. Every patron on entry was given a complimentary drinking cup which is great for all the drinking you will do.
I was lucky to get the rose gold cup which I loved! They also had it in gold and silver. I love that it had a handle and came with a straw. It's an insulated cup so it will keep your cold drinks cold. Almost 6 months later and I still have the cup and use it ever so often.
Upon entry you also get a drink card which enables you get get a free shot of rum from every rum vendor at the event.
Some of the vendors went all out with the decor of their station. I remember Appleton Estate having a swing in the shape of their rum bottle and a life size jenga game. At the Wray & Nephew booth they had dominos, so all around the event you would find these cool little things to do.
The only problem I had was with the long lines for food and drinks but that couldn't be helped. After all, there were over 8500 (estimated) persons at the event. I don't think they bargained for so many people as the year before it was half that size. But none the less I think the event was a success and I'm glad I went and had fun before the country went on lockdown.
It was definitely an event to remember and if all goes well they will have another in March 2021.
Do you have a favorite brand of rum? If so let me know in the comments below.