The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport have decided to go ahead with this year’s staging of the Jamaica 60 Festival Song Competition.

Entries will now reopen for one week, from June 14 to 21, to select seven new songs. These will add to the 3 identified by the selection panel from the previous 123 entries.

The 10 finalists will vie for the national title at the finals of the competition on July 28.

Portfolio Minister, Olivia Grange, disclosed the details earlier this week at the opening ceremony of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference in downtown Kingston.

“I have been networking with the [entertainment] industry to get good producers, songwriters, and performers on board, so we can come up with 10 songs,” she said.

She noted that the competition is in addition to the Jamaica 60 commemorative album, which will feature artists such as Shaggy, Freddy McGregor, Koffee and Marcia Griffiths.

“So, I just want to say to the diaspora and Jamaicans here at home that we will have a festival song competition and quality entries,” she emphasised.

Minister Grange, during her 2022/23 Sectoral presentation at Gordon House on June 8, had announced that the Jamaica Festival Song Competition would be omitted from this year’s Jamaica Festival package due to unsatisfactory entries.

She said that the panel, which was established to select the finalists of this year’s competition, advised that it could not choose 10 suitable songs from among the entries despite extending the deadline.

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will be ramping up the Jamaica Festival Song workshops over the next 12 months to ensure improved entries.