May 2018


A safe Sumfest

Observer senior reporter

May 03, 2018 5 Comments

A section of the crowd attendig a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, St James.

THE state of public emergency currently in place in St James will have no adverse effect on this year’s staging of the annual music festival Reggae Sumfest, according to organisers.

The event is slated for July 15 to 22.

Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of DownSound Entertainment and chairman of Summerfest Productions, promoters of the festival, said the operation, which is in place to reduce the rising levels of criminal activity in that western city, will result in tighter productions at all the events to meet the agreed timelines.

“We’re starting early this year. The show on Friday night begins at eight o’clock and ends at six. We have some restrictions this year in terms of how late we can be out and I think that all these restrictions are rather positive for us because not only are we more safe than ever before, but we will be able to get to bed before the rooster crows,” Bogdanovich told the media at a rap session held at his DownSound Entertainment corporate office in New Kingston yesterday.

“There’s no question that there is more safety in the country now and the fact the people who live there welcome this extension. Everybody is feeling a sense of normalcy in terms of being more comfortable and safe. The pre-events will end by 2 o’clock, all of them. We have very good safety there. We have never had a problem in the Sumfest area and that won’t change,” he continued.

The state of public emergency was implemented on January 18 of this year for 14 days. It was extended by Parliament as required by the constitution. A further extension to August 2 was approved by the Senate yesterday.

At the session, Bogdanovich skirted around announcing a definitive price tag to stage the event but noted that this year’s show should make money based on the level of sponsorship from local and international partners.

 “It’s a very expensive festival. We’ve expanded to eight days from seven; there are now 10 events. It costs money to project the image of what real reggae and dancehall music is all about and I think the production that we do compared to what you see in other countries is second to none. The box office certainly does not pay for the expenditure that we do. We are actually spending more money this year in terms of the production and the line-up than ever before. We have more meaningful sponsors than ever before. To do the kind of production that we do to make the world understand how dynamic reggae and dancehall music is, it takes a lot of production and we need international sponsors to support us and we’re on the road to doing this. I believe this year we’ll make money,” he said.

First held in 1993, Reggae Sumfest has featured dancehall’s elite such as Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Lady Saw and Capleton. International acts, including TI, Common, Usher, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, Ne-Yo, Mary J Blige, and Alicia Keys have also performed on it.

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No Sumfest Worries – Joe says state of emergency won’t affect festival

Kimberley Small

May 03, 2018
Despite the extension of the state of emergency in St. James until the end of July, Joe Bogdanovich, principal of Reggae Sumfest and CEO of Downsound Entertainment, is unconcerned about its likely impact on the showpiece event.

Bogdanovich told THE STAR yesterday that he expects the festival nights to extend into the following mornings, as is customary at Sumfest.

“I think we’re OK we have no restrictions on Friday and Saturday night,” he said.

Clubs and fast-food restaurants under the State of Emergency in St James are required to close their doors by 2 a.m. Bogdanovich said that the pre-events for Reggae Sumfest will close by that time.

Parliament this week voted to extend the State of Emergency by 90 days, which means that it will not be business as usual in St James this summer.

The 26th anniversary of Reggae Sumfest is scheduled to take place in Montego Bay, St James on July 15-22. The State of Emergency is scheduled to end on July 31.

Citing strong relationships with the municipal authorities and the Jamaica Tourist Board, Bogdanovich does not believe that the extension will impede the festival’s execution.

“I think that people are proud of their city and country, and want to support the country and support reggae music through Reggae Sumfest, and other festivals that have the same message of ‘unity through music’,” he continued.

The entrepreneur expressed faith in the extended operations and opined that sensibilities of ‘Montegonians’ are returning to normal.

“I think that there’s no question that there is more safety in the country now. People are really welcoming this extension the people that live and work there everybody is feeling a sense of normalcy in terms of feeling more comfortable and safe.”

“We’ve never had a problem with safety in the Sumfest area and I think that won’t change. We have a lot of support from the Mayor and from the Jamaica Tourist Board. Everybody in the heat of the summer understands that Montego Bay is important as the second city, it’s the biggest tourist destination in Jamaica,” Bogdanovich told THE STAR.





Dancehall Night:

Sizzla, Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killa, Harry Toddla, Agent Sasco, Shane O, Tosh Alexander, Tommy Lee, Dance Xpressionz, Rygin King, Govana and Stonebwoy (Ghana)

Reggae Night:

Beres Hammond, Damian Marley, Capleton, Cham, Fantan Mojah, J Boog, Jah Dore, Jesse Royal, Raging Fyah, Naomi Cowan, Empress Ayeola





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July 15-22, 2018 
The World’s Premier Reggae Festival in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica

Hard Tickets Now On Sale 
At Local Jamaican Outlets and Online at 
Reggae Sumfest Website

Tickets to Jamaica’s premier music festival,
Reggae Sumfest, are available for all events at all the usual local Jamaican outlets including:
Fontana Drugs in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, & Mandeville, and at Rapid True Value Hardware Stores in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios & Portmore, also Richie B’s Liquor Centre, Mary Brown’s Texaco in Kingston, 
Ironshore Total, Pier 1, El Paso Records in
Montego Bay….and of course online at
Start making your travel plans now for the
hottest week of Reggae events on the planet!
Reggae Sumfest brings you
Pre-Events and the 2-Day Main Event
with the top names in Reggae & Dancehall,
all taking place in postcard-perfect
Montego Bay, Jamaica.
2018 Reggae Sumfest is exploding on the global marketplace. The Pre-Events have been expanded and upgraded, making the week-long celebration in Montego Bay a prime destination for Caribbean travel and entertainment.
Major global sponsors, Jet Blue and Mastercard,
are now also onboard for 2018.
The event lineup for 2018 includes: 
The Colorfest Beach Party on July 15 atTropical Bliss Beach
The Free Street Dance and Party on July 16 on the Hip Strip
The All White Party at Pier One on July 17
The Blitz Party at The Hard Rock Cafe with inclusive food and drinks on July 18
The 20th Anniversary of Irish & Chin’s World Clash on July 19 at the Pier One Event Centre
 The Main Festival Nights on July 20 & 21 at
Catherine Hall Entertainment Center features the greatest stars of Reggae and Dancehall ~ all night long!
The Festival Week winds up with a 7am Tailgate Party at
Dump Up Beach, called Morning Meds.
The festival will again be live-streamed
in high-definition video.
Reggae Sumfest has become the most watched
Reggae & Dancehall festival in the world….Don’t miss it!

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Promoter expects record turnout for Sumfest

March 14, 2018
Photo at left: Tourists enjoying the action at last year’s Sumfest.
With the sales for the second round of early bird tickets for this year’s Reggae Sumfest going fast, organisers are expecting a record turnout for their 25th anniversary staging.

In a recent interview withTHE STAR, Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of Reggae Sumfest, said that tickets sales for this year are going well and explained that the demand has been so great that they have had to make available a second batch of early bird tickets.

Tickets are now available for general and VIP admission for nights one and two, as well as tickets for pre-events/post events, including Colorfest Beach Party, Street Dance, All-White Party, The Blitz Party, The World Clash, featuring Irish & Chin 20th Anniversary and Morning Medz After Party.

Bogdanovich also revealed that when compared to previous years, this year’s sales are going better, and he expects numbers to improve as the date for the festival, dubbed the ‘Greatest reggae show on Earth’, draws near.

Reggae Sumfest will be held in Montego Bay, St James, from July 15 to 22.

The organiser credits the high demand for the tickets to the quality of show patrons get each year.

“This year will be exceptional. Production has been awesome and will continue to be awesome, but what is different every year with Sumfest is that we strive for the unexpected that brings more joy and harmony to the experience,” he said, noting that top reggae acts have already been booked for the show.

“Everyone involved with Sumfest, which involves people and companies all over the world, are proud of what has been done with Reggae Sumfest [since the festival changed its format in 2016]. Plans are going great and the festival is being embraced early both here at home and abroad. Tickets are selling quickly and hotels are already being booked. We are ready for eight days of fun with great entertainment.”


As it relates to the fact that International Night was dropped from the roster, Bogdanovich stressed that the festival’s “main mission is to make Reggae Sumfest the most authentic reggae and dancehall festival in the world.”

To achieve that, the CEO revealed that although there is no ‘International night’ per se, each year the organisers reach out to international acts each year who fit well with the show’s brand.

“We are not solely focusing on Jamaican talent. They are the core and priority, but our main mission is to make Reggae Sumfest the most authentic reggae and dancehall festival in the world. To do this right, you have to reach out to international artistes as well. Each year, we reach out to international artistes who fit well with our own Jamaican artistes, and exemplify the positive and important influence of Jamaican music and culture from all over the world,” he said.

Canada’s Tory Lanez and Patoranking from Nigeria have performed on the show, as both acts have included dancehall in the music. And, for this year’s show, Bogdanovich said that they reached out to American reggae artiste J. Boog, who is of Samoan descent.

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