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Shaggy & Friends 2016 Teams Up with iHeartMedia and Fiat

(l-r) Owen Grover of iHeart Radio, Susan Thompson of Fiat and Shaggy

The lawns of Jamaica House are once again getting ready to erupt with the sound of music and the feeling of philanthropy with the return of the massive benefit concert Shaggy & Friends, under the theme I Dare. The concert is slated for Saturday, January 2, 2016.

For the upcoming staging, event organizer, the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation has teamed up with iHeartMedia and Fiat to further strengthen their reach beyond the day and outstrip previous efforts. With the tagline ‘1 ticket = 1 life’,  The Make A Difference Foundation has previously donated just under US$1.6 million to the Bustamante Hospital for Children. 

“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 the opportunity to make a difference by donating what they can.”

Now a biennial event, Shaggy & Friends was last staged in 2014 to raise funds toward completing the first diagnostic Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) at the Bustamante Hospital. This year, however, the funds will be directed toward the general hospital population.

“We feel that during this sensitive time, healthcare needs our attention more than ever,” Rebecca Packer, Executive Director of the foundation said via a release.

The strategic partnership with iHeartMedia is intended to galvanize that attention. iHeartMedia, which reportedly has 245 million monthly listeners in the US with stations available on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio and the internet, will promote the SMS “text to donate” as well as produce a 60 minute version of the concert for broadcast on January 3, at 8:00 pm. 

“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.”

The Foundation will also be using its partnership with Food For the Poor to allow people not present at the concert to donate to the cause through that organization’s online platform. 

Tickets for the concert come in three tiers Silver (J$5,000), Gold (J$10,000) and Platinum (J$20,000). An early bird discount is also available for tickets purchased before December 25, 2015.