Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012: Not for the ‘Bruck’ Pocket. How You Can Watch For Cheap or FREE!

To put it simply. If you have to ask what’s the price, the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is not for you.

My friends and I were joking about it this week, the fact that the TV ads didn’t show the price. They simply advertised the artistes, venue and other important information. However if you’re still interested in finding the FULL cost of this event, keep reading.

Government Officials, Investors, and Musicians at the New York Launch of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2012 on November 18, 2011 at Sirius XM Studios

Right now a lot of your friends will be talking, tweeting, and facebooking about the Caribbean’s Premier Festival. And rightly so. They have estimated that an audience of 25,000 to 30,000 music enthusiasts attend the annual event over the three days, Thursday to Saturday. This events also attract over 200 local and international press media, and the event is heavily promoted across Jamaica, the USA, UK, the Caribbean and Canada.

In fact, there was a HBO Special highlighting the event that premiered recently. According to the Gleaner, the programme, which showcased the island’s landscapes in more than 23 countries, will additionally air in Latin America in November. The One Love: Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2011 special was a collaborative effort between Flow, HBO, and the Ministry of Tourism.

If this sounds too luxurious for you and you were not able to make it, do not feel down hearted. You may have saved yourself a deep hole in your pocket, or possible embarrassment for not fully understanding what you would have been getting into – right after all your Christmas spending, and giving back to Charity through the Shaggy and Friends Concert.

Admission Costs

Here are the costs to consider before you attempt to consider this event.

First, to get into the event, you should know that there will only be two ticket categories for the 2012 Festival: General and VIP. Based on information from the official website,

  • General Tickets – grant access to the general areas of the Festival. No seating is provided,
    however there will be unreserved seating in the stands.
  • VIP Tickets – grant access to an area closer to the stage. Limited seating is provided on a first-come basis.

Persons can purchase either a single, weekend or season tickets.

  • Single Night grants entry to either Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.
  • Weekend Tickets grants access to Friday and Saturday nights only.
  • Season Tickets grants access to all three nights – Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The online ticket pricing for admission is as follows (in US dollars)

Single Night Tickets

  • Thursday        Gen $80           VIP $120
  • Friday             Gen $100         VIP $200
  • Saturday        Gen $80           VIP $120

Weekend and Single Night Tickets

  • 2-Day Weekend Pass  – Gen $175 –  VIP $315
  • 3 – Day Season Pass  – Gen $250  – VIP $430

See for yourself, this is no simple treat!

Online purchases attract an 8% handling fee. Additionally they advise that prices will increase closer to event.

Additional Fees

  • Parking – VIP prices do NOT include guaranteed parking. You still have to pay for the parking sticker IF you are able to get one. They advise “Please note that there will be a small fee for parking stickers because of the limited supply of VIP parking at the stadium.”
  • Service Fees – Service fees are charged in addition to the advertised tickets price and will vary depending on the purchase method. Service fees cover the costs of operating a box office, including staffing, software licensing, credit card fees.

Essential But Often forgotten

Sometimes in planning, we seem to consider the major cost and forget the others. Doing that for an event like this will put you in big trouble mister. This event has many other costs that if forgotten can quickly escalate and spell trouble for the embarrassed husband and wife who find themselves stranded.

Some other costs to consider are

  • Clothing – You have dress up for an event like this. No questions about it.
  • Grooming – Hair, nails, body. All of these need to be done I’m sure.
  • Accommodation – More than likely you are not from the western part of Jamaica and you will not be able to drive home afterwards. Get accommodation.
  • Transportation – Getting to the event (especially if you’re coming from the other end of the island), may cost you a pretty penny. There is an extensive list of shuttle and taxi services here.
  • Food – We’re talking about a whole night, or even a weekend here. And I can guarantee you, that in the tourist capital of Montego Bay, everything and I mean EVERYTHING will be above priced average. But that’s ok, because if you can afford to attend, then what’s ten dollars extra on a bottle of Cran-Wata?

What Are My Hopes of EVER Going to this Event?

The only hope you have of attending this event on a meagre budget, will be attending on Thursday night, the opening night, when the tickets will be reduced in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary.

“This year we are celebrating 50 years of Jamaica’s Independence and in so doing, we will be presenting and dedicating Thursday night to Jamaica’s music, our people and our culture.  In celebration of that 50 years, we’ve lowered the price on that night for Jamaicans to US$50.00 and only Jamaicans will be entitled to that discount. This festival is going to be the single most memorable event this country has ever had,” Mr. Elmore told JIS News.

That’s great news! However if you still can’t attend, and want be in on the happenings, want to be able to hob-nob with the who’s who and pretend to be in the know for all the cubicle talk on Monday, then watch it LIVE online for FREE. You can watch it LIVE for FREE here http://jamaicajazzandblues.com/jazz-live/.

Tweet away and update your facebbok as if you were there.

Have you ever attended a major event such as the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival? Are there other costs that should be considered?

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