Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Thursday | December 19, 2013
Home : Entertainment
Shaggy & Friends continues support - 2014 concert to feature Tessanne, a host of big names

Saturday, January 4, 2013. That's the date when The Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation will stage its concert - 'Shaggy & Friends' - on the lawns of Jamaica House in Kingston.

The concert, which was last held in 2012, is now a biennial event with the first act going onstage at 8 p.m.

The foundation has announced a star-studded line-up, which includes Shaggy himself, alongside Tarrus Riley, Konshens, Elephant Man, Chronixx, Wayne Marshall, Assassin, and others.

Shaggy & Friends will also feature a full-length performance from Tessanne Chin in what will be her first major appearance since becoming 'The Voice'.

Executive director of the Shaggy Foundation, Rebecca Packer, explained the move to have the concert hosted biennially:

"Every single dollar that is earned at Shaggy & Friends goes directly to benefit the Bustamante Hospital. At the end of the day, we have to respond to the economy, and if we tried to do the show every year, the reality is that we would have to start using some of the proceeds to pay for the show," she said.

Packer said that the show is offset by donations from private individuals and corporate sponsorships.

Among those pitching in this year are Digicel, Scotiabank, Red Stripe, The Wisynco Group, KFC, and Pizza Hut.

Shaggy & Friends 2014 will have three access tiers - silver, gold and platinum. The tiers will cost $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000, respectively.

In order to encourage more people to attend, the foundation is also offering a 20 per cent discount on tickets purchased before December 25.

"The people who come out in their thousands every year to the concert save so many lives. They have raised just under US$1 million over three years with ticket purchases and donations and they have truly made a difference. It's not us here behind the scenes, really it is the people who come out to the show ... it's them who help to keep so many children alive," Packer said.

Shaggy was introduced to the Bustamante Hospital for Children more than a decade ago while visiting the son of a friend. The visit opened his eyes to the stark constraints faced by health-care providers and the devastating consequences they have on the children at the hospital.

That reality is exacerbated by the fact that the hospital is the only full-service children's hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.

With his motivation only growing, Shaggy established The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation and started the Shaggy & Friends concert series, with its first staging on January 3, 2009.

To date, the foundation has worked to secure over 350 pieces of life-saving equipment for the hospital and greatly increasing its capacity to provide quality health care.

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