April 2019

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5 Caribbean Music Festivals That Should Be On Your Radar

Don’t let those ‘Fyre Fest’ docs scare ya! Check out 5 amazing Caribbean summer music festivals here!

For music lovers, warm weather is more than just a well-needed break from months of chilly temps. Summer means longer days, hotter nights and music festivals featuring many of our favorite artists hitting the stage.

While popular festivals such as Coachella and Made In America always come to mind, fans who desire a more unique experience should look no further than the Caribbean for slept-on options. There’s no shortage of star power, with acts ranging from Buju Banton to John Legend. Several neighboring and host hotels also offer deals to make the trip possible even for those of tight budgets (as frequent travelers know, a flight to certain Caribbean islands from the states can often be less expensive than flying cross-country).

Reggae SumFest

Check out five amazing music festivals taking place in the Caribbean this summer below.

Reggae and dancehall lovers need not look any further than gorgeous Montego Bay, Jamaica, as the Reggae SumFest touches down on the island July 14-20. Acts this year vary from Jamaican icons such as Spragga Benz and Elephant Man to current star and Love & Hip Hop : Atlanta castmate Spice. Past performers have included Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killa, Mavado, Gyptian, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Missy Elliott and more. For more, check out reggaesumfest.com.

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Copyright © 2019 EBONY Media Operations.

 

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Putting Out the Fyre: 10 Caribbean Music Fests That Get It Right

Shelby Soblick/Getty Images
A general view of atmosphere at Reggae Sumfest on July 28, 2013 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

A spectacular 2,500-mile island chain, the Caribbean archipelago extends from below the southern tip of Florida to just above the coast of South America. The region’s tropical climate and tranquil beaches, complemented by a vibrant mélange of cultures and indigenous musical styles, have provided spectacular ambience for a wide range of music festivals. Among the earliest was Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash, founded in 1978 (Bob Marley performed there in 1979) as a means of enticing visitors to the island during the slow summer tourism season. Forty-one years later, music festivals are held year-round throughout the Caribbean. Utilizing primarily outdoor locations, from intimate rustic spaces to stadium size venues, country, rock, jazz, blues and hip-hop are heard alongside the region’s own calypso, reggae, dancehall, salsa, soca and reggaetón. If the nightmarish tales of FEMA tents and soggy cheese sandwiches associated with the infamous Bahamian bomb have induced festival fear, it’s time to forget the Fyre and consider 10 of the Caribbean’s best music festivals, listed here in alphabetical order. (Click Read More at end of article for full article)

Reggae Sumfest, Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 14-20, 2019

When Reggae Sunsplash vacated its Montego Bay home in 1993, a new reggae festival was created, Reggae Sumfest, and its success quickly surpassed that of its (now defunct) predecessor. In 2016, Sumfest’s future appeared uncertain, at which point American born, Kingston based businessman Josef Bogdanovich, CEO/founder of Downsound Entertainment, purchased the event. Bogdanovich has expanded Sumfest to include social media influencer awards, a music business symposium, an international sound system clash, and two nights of performances by Jamaica’s biggest acts. The 2019 lineup features Rasta roots artists Chronixx, Tarrus Riley, Jah9 and Protoje alongside marquee dancehall names Spice, Elephant Man, Dexta Daps and Spragga Benz and Buju Banton, who fits neatly in both categories. Sumfest has a new presenting sponsor Caribbean Airlines and launches are planned in New York, Miami and London. Says Bogdanovich: “Sumfest delivers a quality production and I intend to establish this Jamaican music festival on an international level that competes with Coachella and Glastonbury.”

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Foota Hype Booked For Reggae Sumfest Despite Downsound Fallout

Foota Hype

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foota Hype and Downsound Records put their differences aside for at least one night.

The veteran sound system selector is booked for the 2019 Reggae Sumfest despite his prior falling out with Downsound. Foota Hype says Joe Bogdanovich saw his performance at Rebel Salute and was so impressed by it that he instructed his team to reach out to the disc jockey who previously departed Downsound over issues with his baby mama Ishawna.

“I think my Rebel Salute performance prompted Joe (Bogdanovich) to want to book Foota Hype for Sumfest. He was there. I saw him before I went on stage,” Foota Hype said. “We never spoke to each other because as you know, we’re not on talking terms. But I think the music did a greater job than personal egos and personal feelings and vengeance against each other. The music override all a that.”

Foota Hype added that the promoter wanted him for the Reggae Sumfest street dance and the main stage, but he was already booked for an event on July 19th, so he will only be able to do one night. The selector will be performing at the Sumfest street dance at the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay on July 15th.

Reggae Sumfest organizer, Joe Bogdanovich, who is also the head of Downsound Records, says it was vital for him to put personal feelings aside for the good of the music. He noted that Scatta Burrell, whom Foota Hype previously had issues with over Ishawna, encouraged the booking.

“Foota is hype, you know,” Joe said. “He’s an unusually exceptional person who is very talented, and the reason why he’s on this show is because his work speaks for itself. Music is above personal feelings for me.”

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Dalton Harris will be safe at Sumfest – Bogdanovich assures artiste that there is much love for him in Jamaica

April 04, 2019
Dalton Harris
Dalton Harris

Following an Instagram post by Jamaican X Factor winner Dalton Harris yesterday, CEO of Downsound Entertainment and chief organiser of Reggae Sumfest, Joe Bogdanovich has assured him that no harm will come his way when he makes his Sumfest debut this July.

A story published by THE STAR last month announcing Harris’ addition to the line-up, was met with strong opposition from some social media users who believe he is not yet ready for the ‘greatest reggae show on Earth’. Some even hinted that he might be bottled during his performance.

Having caught wind of some of those comments, Harris, who is scheduled to perform on the festival’s night two, yesterday expressed concerns about gracing the Sumfest stage.

“Today is one of those days. One of those days where I recalibrate my mind and reflect … I always get a little depressed when going back to Jamaica just a little. Working on that. I love my country and my new home also. There is so much love in the world for me and my music. I always feel and acknowledge that but the hate is there too,” a part of the post read.

Harris called himself a “self-made entrepreneur and entity that is not doing bad at all” and hinted that he was not fazed, even when “I get the hate and the remarks of people planning on stoning me at Reggae Sumfest or calling me some name that couldn’t be more inaccurate to who I am”.

“The love from my fans worldwide is incredible. This is bigger than the social media bullying and me,” the post read.

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Speaking with THE STAR about Harris’ post, Bogdanovich said that he would be contacting Harris himself, to assure him that he will not be hurt in any way when he graces the Sumfest stage.

“I care about every artiste on Sumfest and I make a personal representation just to make sure everything in their sphere is very positive, safe and good. I do that personally because the artistes are our trophies and we have to protect them and give them all our love and support,” he said.

Bogdanovich explained that for more than two decades, Sumfest has prided itself on providing a safe environment for both performers and patrons.

“Reggae Sumfest is a very secure festival. The vibes are so strong and so positive that nobody thinks in a negative space, that just doesn’t happen. This year, the type of production the fans are going to see is going to be overwhelmingly positive. It’s going to be awestruck, so none of that kind of thing (stoning or bottling) is going to infiltrate the show,” he said. “I just want Dalton to know that there’s a lot of love here for him in Jamaica.”

Bogdanovich said that the team has received many positive calls and emails from people expressing their delight at seeing Harris perform, many of them for the first time live, especially after his X Factor success.

“I know there are some hateful people around on the journey to stardom but you just have to believe in yourself and keep focused. I know that he’s a great artiste and he’s going to give a great show,” he said.

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Reggae Sumfest Cruises Into Trinidad For Launch Party

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 
From left: Alicia Cabrera, Bunji Garlin,
Fayann Lyons and Joe Bogdanovich at the Trinidad launch of Reggae Sumfest.
Reggae Sumfest officially kicked off their launch tour on the twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago last Thursday, on-board the popular Ocean Pelican Cruise.

The first Sumfest launch to be held in a Caribbean country outside of Jamaica, the filled-to-capacity cruise event set sail from Anchorage, Chaguaramas, at 8:30 p.m., after a short programme, which included presentations by Alicia Cabrera, senior marketing manager of Caribbean Airlines; Camile Glenister, deputy director tourism marketing for Jamaica; and of course Joe Bogdanovich, chairman of Downsound Entertainment and owner of Reggae Sumfest.

The Sumfest boss said he was committed to advancing the unity of the region through music. “Caribbean people love reggae and soca and there is a strong unifying power in that.”

The launch party continued until 11 p.m. with guests partying to the musical stylings of Trinidad-based DJ Trevlyn, who showed excellent skills in his selection of reggae music mixed with a touch of soca. The energy and vibe of the event was on continuous high for the duration of the cruise.

This event is the first of four launch events for Sumfest 2019. In April, festival organisers will host the customary New York launch in Brooklyn. The Sumfest MoBay launch is scheduled for May, while the final event will be held in June in Kingston.

In addition to the launch activity, Caribbean Airlines marked its partnership with Reggae Sumfest by adding the Reggae Sumfest logo on either side of the nose of a 737 aircraft. The official unveiling was done the day before the launch at the airline’s hangar. All agreed that this initiative to launch in Trinidad will not only mark a solid partnership with the airline but will also open the doors to increase the visitor arrivals from the region to Jamaica while encouraging the unifying force that is already in motion between the musical cultures of Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

Festival organisers stated in a release that anticipation for Sumfest 2019 is “sky high”, with the first set of early bird ticket flash sales, held in February, being completely sold out in less than 48 hours. They upped the excitement ante earlier this month when it was announced that the event would be headlined by reggae artistes Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx.

Sumfest 2019 rolls out an impressive schedule of events leading up to the greatly anticipated concert nights on July 19 and 20. The week of events is expected to kick off on July 14 with the Sumfest Mawnin Medz beach party and followed by the Street Dance, All White Party, all black Blitz Party, Global Sound Clash, as well as the Reggae Sumfest Symposium.

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