Wed | Dec 2, 2020

Capleton happy for Rum Festival concerts - Wants to see more live shows

Published:Friday | February 14, 2020 | 12:07 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer

Rastafarian reggae artiste Capleton is one of the headline acts for the concerts which are part of the package at this year’s Jamaica Rum Festival, and he is only too aware that some persons are questioning his presence on the show.

Emphasising that he doesn’t partake of any alcoholic beverage whatsoever, Capleton voiced the opinion that rum is an integral part of the Jamaican culture, and there’s no way that anybody can ignore that fact.

“I don’t drink rum but, yuh know, rum is a part of our culture. Plenty people who don’t drink rum always have a bottle in dem house. When people sick, dem rub up inna some white rum and it works for them,” the Fireman said, and even drew a parallel with his Fireman moniker and white rum.

“Remember that the ancients used to call rum ‘fire water’,” he said, adding for effect, “Rum Fest going to be a fyah bun fest. So big up to the organisers of the Jamaica Rum Festival and to Appleton, in particular, for sponsoring the concerts.”

Not only is Capleton happy to be performing for his home crowd, he is thankful that this event has been added to the local calendar, which, he says, is suffering from a dearth of stage shows. “I even did a song some years ago and in it I called the names of about 30 shows that used to keep every year. Every time mi do that song is trouble,” he said laughing. “But where are most of them (stage shows) now? This is a very good thing that the festival people are doing. We are reggae island and we should stage the biggest festivals and shows to be found anywhere in the world. Thumbs up to all the people who a try put on the concert dem fi mek sum’n happen,” the promoter of A St Mary Mi Come From told The Gleaner.

Capleton disclosed that he has been encouraging other artistes who used to host events to revive them. “I tell Bounty to bring back Saddle to the East and Richie Stephens to start back Unity Splash. More shows are needed in Jamaica. Music is fun and it is informative. The most spiritual music on Earth is reggae music, because it have soul. It is the heartbeat. We have to keep the culture going,” he said.


The 2020 Rum Festival, to be held February 29-March 1, is expected to outdo its massive 2019 staging. A roster of fast-rising and seasoned entertainers will perform over the two nights. In addition to Capleton, the artistes on the line-up include Cocoa Tea, Freddie McGregor, Spragga Benz, Ky-Mani Marley, Ding Dong and the Ravers Clavers, Mortimer, Bugle, Protoje, Indie Allen, and Dance Xpressionz.

According to the organisers, live music is a pillar of the festival’s mandate to inform its patronage of Jamaica’s cultural heritage. The aim is to interactively inform Jamaicans and tourists alike about all things Jamaican – rum, music, food and other aspects of the cultural fabric as a people.

Capleton concluded: “For me, it’s just the music and the vibe and the energy. We are just inviting the people to come out in your tens of thousands to Rum Fest. Come hold a joy with King Shango and the Prophecy Band. Me is all about the fire, all about the preservation of the culture. We do it fi di love, we do it fi di culture, we do it fi Rasta.”