As the home of reggae, dancehall, and other genres of Jamaican music, there are endless live concerts, shows, and festivals that fill the Jamaican event calendar each year. You’ll be mesmerized as you immerse yourself in the thumping of the deep bass drums on a sweet reggae beat. It’s an unforgettable moment every music lover should have at least once in their lifetime.
While our festivals have temporarily moved to virtual experiences for everyone’s health, it is still so worth it to feel the vibe of these performances while being in the land of the music’s origin. The excitement on the ground is palpable whenever there’s a major festival in the air.
Jamaican Music Festivals
From big festivals such as Reggae Sumfest and Jamaica Jazz and Blues to smaller more intimate pop-ups at reggae bars around the island, our social scene is abuzz with live music year-round. There’s never a lull in activity, no matter what time of year you decide to come to Jamaica.
The winter season heats up with Rebel Salute, a more cultural ode to reggae icons in our musical history, and Jamaica Jazz and Blues. This festival welcomes international stars and fans of our music to blend their artistry with our very best on show.
Reggae Sumfest dominates the summer along with major events happening around our “Emancipendence” holidays, while dancehall takes center stage around the Christmas holidays with the major stage show Sting.
Live Music Scene
When there isn’t the excitement of a big music festival in the air, you can catch our music superstars at any number of pop-up or annual events around the island. They’re also regulars at some of our popular sports bars and music lounges where you might catch an intimate acoustic performance or live set.
Since most major festivals have moved online to stay safe and socially distant, these smaller bars are usually outdoors and a great place to meet and listen to your favorite Jamaican artist.
In Kingston, both Ribbiz Ocean Lounge and Janga’s Soundbar are popular places you might catch a live show on any given night. The Dub Club in the hills above the city and out on the beach at Wickie Wackie are two places on the outskirts of the city where you can find live cultural music on a weekly basis.
On the west side of the island, Pier 1 and Margaritaville in Montego Bay are the popular places to hang out where live music and DJs are part of the fiber of the nightlife. Sunday nights at Coral Cliff offer an easy, laid-back reggae vibe.
The Jungle Night Club in Negril, and several spots lining the famous 7-mile beach, all host small sets weekly. A stroll along the main street reveals who’s performing where each night.
Make it An Experience
Align your Jamaican vacation around a major music event to create an unforgettable experience. When choosing your event, grab a Jamaica travel deal at the same time for significant savings when you plan your trip.
If you’d prefer to cherry-pick your must-do Jamaican attractions and activities, have a look at the Jamaica itineraries designed to suit varying vacation goals. These make it easy for you to plan all the things you’d like to see, feel, taste, and experience while in the heart of the Caribbean.
No music experience in Jamaica is complete without a tour of its origins. Plan to spend some time in Trench Town where Bob Marley spent his formative years as a reggae artist. Or head to either of the Bob Marley museums, former homes of the international legend that have been transformed into immersive experiences.