Kingston, Jamaica: — On Saturday January 2nd the lawns of Jamaica House will come to life with the sights and sounds of the 2016 installment of the ‘Shaggy & Friends’ benefit concert. The concert, which is now a biennial event, aims to surpass 2014’s yields for the Bustamante Hospital for Children under the theme I Dare.
The upcoming staging of the concert, which is organized by the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, will be its fifth and is set to be the biggest one yet. Proceeds from the last 2 concerts were directed towards completing the first diagnostic Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) totally dedicated to children in the English-speaking Caribbean; however, considering the dire needs of the children that pass through the Hospital day to day, the Foundation is re-focusing its energy on the needs of the general hospital population. “We feel that during this sensitive time, healthcare needs our attention more than ever,” said Rebecca Packer, Executive Director of the Foundation, who also announced that media giant iHeartMedia and Italian automaker FIAT are joining forces with the Foundation for the event.
With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S. and more than 87 million monthly digital uniques, iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. Its 858 radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, on tablets and smartphones, and on gaming consoles. iHeartRadio, its all-in-one streaming music and live digital radio service, has more than 700 million downloads and reached 70 million users faster than any other radio or digital music service and even faster than Facebook.
The FIAT® brand stands for discovery through passionate self-expression. That philosophy is embodied by the iconic Fiat 500 or Cinquecento – a small car that lives big. Italian at heart and rooted in a rich heritage, the 500 is sold in more than 100 countries around the world and is synonymous with modern, simple design blending form, function, technology and a pride of ownership that is genuine.. FIAT is partnering with The Shaggy & Friends Foundation to bring the concert programming and information to radio, television and digital..
“Having iHeartMedia and FIAT on board helps us take the concert to another level and simultaneously creates immeasurable reach into otherwise untapped markets,” said Packer. “We are excited to welcome them and the worldwide audience this partnership will result in will ultimately benefit the children of the Bustamante Hospital. It’s going to be a very exciting year, and we are going to be able to bring the concert — and showcase our island and talent — to one of the largest audiences possible.”
iHeartMedia will promote the ‘Shaggy & Friends’ benefit concert and the SMS “text to donate” details with nationwide on-air and digital promotion across more than 120 CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) and RCHR (Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio) broadcast radio stations and on iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia will also produce a 60 minute rebroadcast of the benefit concert January 3 at 8 p.m. local time across its stations as well as on its iHeartRadio digital platform.
“This is a great opportunity to use our broadcast and digital platforms to enable our listeners to help children all over the Caribbean,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “It’s not just great music – it’s a cause we all believe in, and we salute Shaggy for all he has done, and continues to do, with this initiative. We’re also pleased to be working with FIAT, a partner with us on this and other events, and to join them on this journey.”
“Every dollar from the show has always gone towards purchasing equipment and supplies for to the Hospital. That’s why we say 1 Ticket = 1 Life. So if we can find additional streams for people to assist; especially from people who cannot attend the concert; we welcome them with open hearts and arms. Our partnership with iHeartMedia and FIAT expands our capacity to do that exponentially,” said Shaggy “Everyone might not be able to attend the show, but it gives them opportunity to make a difference by donating what they can.”
The Foundation’s longtime partner Food For The Poor (FFP) has kept its online donation link live from the 2014 concert allowing people to continue to donate even after the show has ended. People around the world can make donations, big or small, by visiting foodforthepoor.org/teamshaggy4kids. The donations made via FFP are also tax deductible in the US.
The Foundation will also be expanding its online and social media portals; namely its website (www.shaggyfoundation.org), Twitter (@shaggynfriends), Instagram (@ShaggyandFriends) and Facebook (Shaggy and Friends). Packer said that the hashtag #TeamShaggy4Kids was tweeted or retweeted more than 31 million times reaching approximately 7 million twitter accounts across the world last year, and would be used again for the upcoming staging.
Shaggy & Friends 2016 will have three access tiers—Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each will cost JD$5000, JD$10,000 and JD$20,000 respectively. In order to encourage more people to attend, the Foundation is also offering a discount on early bird tickets purchased before December 25.
To date The Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation along with being the biggest donor for the furnishing of the Cath Lab (currently awaiting building completion), has done full audit of hospital equipment and paid for the repair of all equipment whether donated by the Foundation or not, raised just under US$1,600,000 and purchased more than 450 pieces of essential, life-saving equipment for The Bustamante Hospital for Children. The Hospital is the only full-service pediatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.