Held July 2-5, 1980 at the at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Center, Kingston, Jamaica Reggae Sunsplash III takes the Sunsplash franchise to another level.

The concert is being held a few short months prior to a General Election, and the island is rife with political violence.  This explains the festival grounds resembling some sort of prison camp, with the crowd completely surrounded by solid rows of uniformed soldiers with M-16 rifles sporting fixed bayonets.

The show goes off without a single reported incident though, and the crowd is blessed with “unusually inspired” performances from the likes of Culture, Black Uhuru, The Gladiators, Mighty Diamonds, and of course a sizzling set by the one and only Peter Tosh.

Jamaica Gleaner June 30, 1980

Peter Tosh
Live at Reggae Sunsplash III
July 2-5, Kingston, Jamaica

2-400 Years
3-Steppin Razor
5-I’m The Toughest
6-Bush Doctor
8-Don’t Look Back
9-Get Up, Stand Up
10-Recruiting Soldiers
12-Babylon Queendom
13-Buk-In-Ham Palace

Tosh Speech During Performance

Jamaica Gleaner June 30, 1980

Photo by Lee Jaffe