Label's founder to oversee a multimedia festival in 2009

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Island Records are collaborating with the label’s founder Chris Blackwell to oversee the company’s 50th anniversary next year.

Island 50 is set to take place next May, and will include live music, film screenings and photography and memorabilia exhibitions.

‘Island 50 Live’ will be a week-long festival of live shows by Island artists past and present at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. All money raised from the shows will go to Amnesty International and The Oracabessa Foundation in Jamaica.

The label has been home to a diverse range of major artists over the years including U2, Bob Marley, Roxy Music and Tom Waits.

The current roster includes Amy Winehouse, Portishead and Paul Weller.

Looking back over the label’s success, Blackwell has commented: “When I recorded ‘Lance Hayward at the Half Moon’ in 1959 at Federal Records Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, I had no inkling what path this had set me on. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with some of the greatest musical artists of all time. It was always my intention at Island to make records that stood the test of time, and I’m proud that Island is still a potent force in music 50 years since that first release. I’m very excited to be collaborating with the label to organise a number of events to celebrate Island’s 50th birthday in 2009.”

As well as the live shows, the Island 50 Film Festival will show films such as The Harder They Come’ and ‘Bob Marley Live At The Lyceum’ and will screen nationwide. An exhibition of artwork and photography will also tour around the country through 2009.

Island 50 will also see lots of classic albums get deluxe resisues, as well as new compilations to mark the label’s milestone.

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