Out and stuntin’ - Jamaica Stunt Festival returns after eight-year hiatus

April 03, 2023
Marlon Brown
Marlon Brown

The strong gust of winds from high-revved engines and the sly display of acrobatics skills by stunt drivers caught the attention of then 16-year-old Marlon Brown when he attended his first stunt show in Florida.

Brown, who is an avid enthusiast of stunts and all things related to motorbikes, bicycles and motor trucks, held tight to that unforgettable experience in 1999, so much so that six years later when his former business partner approached him with the idea to host a stunt show in Jamaica, he wasted no time in getting the momentum going.

"It was loud and I remember going to a NASCAR event, and it was very exciting. My experience with those events, it's very colourful. It's always memorable and the people who perform, they do some tricks that you think is impossible, and they pull it off and it's always something that brings you closer to the sport. I think that's part of what helped to bring it to Jamaica," Brown related to THE STAR.

Thus in 2005, Brown conceptualised the Mountain Dew Stunt Festival which underwent a name change years later, and is now known as the Jamaica Stunt Festival. The last staging was in 2015, but the event has also been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown is hoping to attract 15,000 spectators to flock to the National Stadium car park on April 8, when the festival returns.

"We know that there is a large stunt community here in Jamaica. We went out and we have brought Olympic level champion stunters to Jamaica, World Championship level stunters are coming to Jamaica as well. We are going to have about eight Europeans coming to Jamaica and about four from the US. The purpose of that is to have our local talent come to the show and see stunters doing their performances at the highest level of the game. It would be tantamount to track and field enthusiasts coming down here three or four years ago to watch Usain Bolt compete and do his thing. It's something to inspire," the 40-year-old shared.

Brown related that patrons can expect to be wooed by skateboarders, BMX bikes and a 'yeng-yeng' segment. He said local stunters can expect to network with international champions to learn about the sport.

"We really want to expose our local stunters to that level of performance," he noted. Brown also said that safety is paramount and stressed that participants will be expected to be decked in full garb of safety gear.

"We are focused on leading by example. At the event, we are going to be emphasising safety, all the safety precautions are going to be in place and we are going to enforce it at the show. No stunters will be able to perform with the safety gear," he told the news team.

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