Started On :: 21/08/2012 - Ended On :: 22/10/2012

The Greenwich O2 hosted Jamaica’s 50th Independence from the 3rd – 12th August. There was a real blend of island flavours and musical rhythms to entertain guests. The visitors who were lucky enough to get registered and get themselves down to the event early - got a real treat with music from Stone Love sound system, and various bands throughout the day performed to give everyone a real Caribbean party vibe. Not to be left out was DJ Elayne Smith who did a fine job of spinning some tunes after the main stage performers had finished to keep the crowd on their feet.

There were also varieties of rum for those who wanted to actually have a taste of the Caribbean. But one of the most eye catching and memorable parts of this well decorated exhibition hall was a collage of educational images, where Jamaica’s history filled a large corner of the room. This was beautifully blended and showcased for would be tourists what the island had to offer.

Towards the back of room was a shop with various Caribbean spoils, from straw hats to bracelets, T-shirts and Jamaican spices along with 50th independence souvenirs. One thing that stood out was a T-shirt suggesting a Jamaica clean sweep during the London Olympics although the men’s Jamaican relay team were hot favourites to win the 4x100 relay this T-shirt was printed and already on sale days before the race. Wow… it’s a good thing that they won as the decision to print them so early must have taken nerves of steel.

For the visitors who were unable to gain access into the exhibition, there was also outside entertainment on the terrace with more music, jerk chicken stalls to tantalise the taste buds and big screens for the crowds to get into the spirit of the Olympics whilst sipping on a beer or rum punch by the bar located at the centre of the terrace. Just imagine all this entertainment was free! Furthermore, there was a real spirit of community as all become one, whilst the kids had a field day taking in all that was going on around them.  It wasn’t just Jamaicans that were having a party, there were other Olympic events on at the same time and various European fans spilled into the terrace to see what the excitement was all about but ended the night partying with the crowd. The venue was also a chill out point for a handful of soldiers who brought a smile with them whilst taking pictures with party goers.

There was a surprise guest appearance on the 10th August in the form of Christopher Martin who rounded off a wonderful night in style with some of his latest tracks. But the key song which really had the crowd jumping up for more was his hit song “Don’t let me cheat on my girlfriend.”

If only there could be another Jamaican independence very soon. Happy 50th Jamaica!!