HomeUSAHundreds have landed in Southampton for Jerk JamOUS News

Hundreds have landed in Southampton for Jerk JamOUS News

HUNDREDS of people descended on a venue in Southampton as Jerk Jam returned to celebrate 60 years of Jamaican independence.

The Quarter Lounge on Commercial Road, which hosted this popular event for the first time, is expected to have around 500 people today.

The celebration of Jamaican culture, normally held at Titchfield’s Houndhill Farm, has been absent for years due to the pandemic.

Daily Echo: Jerk Jam 2022 at The Quarter Lounge, Southampton.
Jerk Jam 2022 is at The Quarter Lounge in Southampton.

But returning today with the “One People” event, the band has brought West Indian music and food to Southampton and has already had hundreds of people come and sit in the sun.

Jerk Jam this year coincides with the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from the British Empire on August 6, 1962.

The day is now Jamaica National Day, which sees people descend from London and Bristol to the Quarter Lounge.

The Daily Echo: Romany Muirhead, Kirsty Varley and Terry Rodgers. Romany Muirhead, Kirsty Varley and Terry Rodgers.

Kirsty Varley has just taken ownership of the place with her husband, Dan.

He decided to host the event because of his connection to Jerk Jam’s co-director Romany Muirhead.

Kirsty explained: “Romany’s father and my father came together in Windrush. We just bought this venue eight weeks ago.

“If we didn’t have this place, it would never have happened. They didn’t hold the festival due to Covid, so we thought we’d bring it to the city.

Daily Echo: Jerk Jam 2022 at The Quarter Lounge, Southampton. Jerk Jam 2022 is at The Quarter Lounge in Southampton.

“It’s a big celebration of food, family, and music. It is to bring everyone together. The festival has been going on since 2016.

“We cater to all, all are welcome. The Quarter Lounge hopes to bring more events like this to Southampton.”

From noon today (August 6), celebrations are heard all over the region.

Adorned with Jamaican flags throughout, the venue even mounts a purpose-built model of the Empire Windrush, the boat on which many Jamaicans emigrated to the UK, above the door.

The boat was built by Southampton firm Cre8ive Constructo.

Daily Echo: Jerk Jam 2022 at The Quarter Lounge, Southampton. Jerk Jam 2022 is at The Quarter Lounge in Southampton.

Romany Muirhead told Echo: “We’ve even been running this for years. There is no one to imitate what we do.

“Next year we will hold a big festival in Fareham.”

The music for the event was provided by the Maka Foundation, with Terry Rodgers on vocals.

He added: “Every year it is getting bigger now. I was excited. The people want more. They want these events to continue.

“Jerk Jam is the best thing that’s ever happened in Southampton. It’s for everyone. There’s nothing else like it.”

Darron Shallow also provided music on the Steel Pans in front of the venue.

The event is free and will run until midnight tonight.

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