Jamaica Rum festival returns and it’s going hybrid! This year the festival will host a one-day physical event on June 25, 2022, at The Aqueduct, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Although it’s back physically, the annual festival actually takes on a hybrid approach where you’ll be able to either opt to watch it online or take in the in-person experience in the second city.
Ticket locations haven’t been announced yet but as soon as they are you’ll want to secure your spot.
I can vividly the night of fun I had in 2020 at the last physical staging of the festival. I met fellow bloggers for the first time and it was easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing events I had ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited about the return and I can only encourage you to find a way to experience it too.
Related: Jamaica Rum Festival Review 2020
What’s Jamaica Rum Festival about?
In my own words, I’d describe JRF as one of Jamaica’s finest showcases of culture, rum and gastronomy. The event encapsulates the heart of what it means to be Jamaican with the thoughtful selection of entertainment, drink and food. If I were to compare it to any festival I can think I’d dub it the Jamaican Coachella.
According to the JRF website, however “Jamaica Rum Festival is the island’s hub for all things Jamaican rum. So, welcome to a rum experience for the ages! Now in its 4th year, the Jamaica Rum Festival remains the perfect opportunity to explore world-class rum tastings, delicious culinary offerings, and exciting music and edutainment.” And I couldn’t agree more.
What can you expect from Jamaica Rum Festival?
If you’ve been to any of the three prior festival stagings you’d be familiar with the sponsors and offerings in the space. This year won’t be much different in that regard. The presenting sponsor is still the famed Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum but the event is supported by a number of other Jamaican rum brands, including Hampden Estate, National Rums of Jamaica, Worthy Park Estate, Monymusk Plantation Rums, Rum Fire, Rum Bar, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, and Kingston 62. Each rum brand will be hosting rum tastings and special interactive activities at their designated booths so be sure to visit each one.
Upon entry, you’ll likely receive a complimentary gift to further the rum experience along with drink chits which will grant you a sample from a few rum stations.
For food, the JRF food village certainly deserves its own applause. Speciality dishes galore! Street food star, Pink Apron delivered on a mac and cheese sandwich my tastebuds still sing songs about. If they ever offer that again I’d be first in line. Speaking about lines, the downside to the festival was the long lines food vendors and patrons faced. I got lucky and found a line when it wasn’t terrible but for many other patrons, the long queues were a major complaint. This time around I’d recommend beating the rush by arriving at the festival early and filling your uppers from your favourite vendor. That way when it gets later you’re not as starved and you’d be ok with getting a simple meal from a vendor with the shortest line.
In years past, the annual festival brought live musical performances from popular reggae and dancehall acts. In 2019 Aidonia, Sanchez and Agent Sasco formed part of the powerhouse lineup and in 2020 Mortimer serenaded the audience with his hit song Lightning. And who can forget when Protoje lit up the stage with Lila Ike and friends. This year’s lineup promises to be just as exciting as fire man Capleton performs alongside Sevana, Romain Virgo and Tessane Chin. Staple Jamaica acts to round out an evening of good vibes and culture.
Jamaica Rum Festival Launch 2022
I attended the Jamaica Rum Festival launch on April 12, 2022, and the energy was electric. It was the perfect simulation of the event to come. As corny as it may sound everyone was truly in good spirits. And the spirits were flowing. Broken Plate provided delicious hors d’oeuvres served by lovely waiters and waitresses all evening. DBurnz entertained attendees with a live acoustic performance which was followed by a solid DJ set. The evening ended at about 10 pm after checking everyone’s boxes.
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