In light of an increase in COVID-19 cases threatening the health and safety of Jamaicans and visitors to the island alike, Martin’s International, organisers of the International Reggae and World Music Awards has taken the decision to postpone the 2022 staging of the event.
During a press conference on Tuesday (January 18), head of Martin’s International, Dr Ephraim Martin explained that due to the current state of the novel coronavirus in Jamaica, the organisation, which was to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, made the decision to postpone the event to 2023.
The event, which was initially slated to take place on May 1, 2022, has now been rescheduled to May 7, 2023.
Speaking on the postponement, Martin noted: “Right now, in Jamaica, the virus is not looking any better so we saw it best to postpone until 2023. This event usually attracts a number of overseas guests and we want to make sure that it is safe for everyone to enjoy.”
As a result of the postponement of this year’s awards, special accommodations will be put in place as it relates to the criteria for the consideration of musical works.
“Regarding the nominations, since there will be no awards this year, the event in 2023 will award the best of two years — 2021 and 2022,” said Martin.
He added: “So the works released from January 2021 to December 2022 will be eligible based on the criteria. So we are looking forward to a grand event next year as we celebrate the 40th staging of IRAWMA.”
Last year’s presentation, which due to the pandemic was staged virtually, saw artistes such as Buju Banton, Koffee, and Popcaan copping three awards each.
Gramps Morgan received the award for Best Gospel Song and Shenseea received the award for Best Female Deejay.
The award for Best Male Vocalist was awarded to both Tarrus Riley and Chronixx, while the award for Best Dancehall Stage Craft Entertainer was shared by dancehall veterans Beenie Man and Bounty Killer in recognition of their May 2020 Verzuz battle.