Author: joana

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Close to 300 security personnel for music festival

July 10, 2018
File Police on foot patrol.

Organisers of Reggae Sumfest say there will not be any major increase in the number of police personnel for its Friday and Saturday night shows at the Catherine Hall Stadium this year.

“We are using just about the same or a little bit more (police officers) than last year,” Robin Russell, who is in charge of security, told the WESTERN STAR. “Sumfest has never really had a security problem, and we don’t foresee any issues, especially with less crime in and around Montego Bay.”

According to Russell, the Area One police headquarters usually handles the police deployment with approximately 130 per night, who are selected from the four parishes.

“Anywhere from 100 to 150 security officers will be deployed at the venue per night,” he said.

For the events prior to the two main nights, about 20 police officers will be assigned to each.

The one-week reggae and dancehall music festival is set to unfold in the western resort city of Montego Bay from July 15 to 21.

It will be held under the extended state of public emergency, which organisers had earlier indicated would not affect the regular early morning closing hours of the live shows.

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Hermine Shaw serving up good food at Sumfest

July 10, 2018
Hermine Shaw

Reggae Sumfest is much more than just the entertainment and limelight for many people like Hermine Shaw of St James.

Shaw will tell you that the food is also equally one of the biggest highlights of the ‘Greatest Reggae Show on Earth’.

For the past 26 years, Shaw has been at the helm of homestyle cooking on the main nights of the summer festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

Her food stall, branded under the household name ‘Hermine Homestyle’, is a godsend for the thousands of local and international patrons who come out each year looking to chow down on Jamaican mouthwatering dishes.

“My cooking is homestyle, and I do everything like rice and peas, brown stew, curry stew peas, oxtail, ackee and salt fish, salt mackerel, soup, shrimp, conch, and more,” Shaw told the WESTERN STAR.

“People look forward to me every year because they know my stall and know that I cook nothing but good and tasty food. I have people from Canada that come every year for them oxtail,” she added.

Shaw explained that last year’s staging was one of the best as she had more customers than she was able to provide service for.

A second stall

No doubt that she is now looking forward to the upcoming staging, and she has brought in her son in to operate a second stall.

“I came to Reggae Sumfest off of Sunsplash, and over the years until now, I have always lived good with the promoters. I work with their system and do my business, and I was able to put both my daughter and son through school and college, assist my grandchildren …,” said Shaw, who is also a taxi operator.

“So Reggae Sumfest did a lot for me. It keeps me alive,

motivates me, and I plan for it every year. I appreciate the promoters, and I thank them very much. I thank them a lot for what they have done for me and what I do for myself,” she added.

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Grace and Red Stripe partner in tasting party

As the iconic Reggae Sumfest prepares for it’s 27th staging, it will be introducing a new layout and more activities for patrons between sets.

This includes a food court by Grace Foods. The brand partnered with long time sponsor Red Stripe to present an exclusive tasting party on Sunday as a preview for the festival.

Guests were greeted to a well-decorated venue, music and food, food and more food as the company crafted a variety of pasta dishes, wings, steamed fish and more to wet the appetites of veteran Sumfest-goers. The food was complemented by a fully loaded Red Stripe bar stocked with beers and an assortment of Grace lifestylee drinks.

Red Stripe will once again be a presenting sponsor for Reggae Sumfest, which will take place in Montego Bay from Sunday, July 15th to Saturday, July 21st.

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WHAT IS REGGAE SUMFEST

It is no doubt that Jamaica has made a huge impact on the world through their distinguished reggae music— and Reggae Sumfest has definitely had much to do with this influence. As the premier reggae festival on the planet and the biggest party in Jamaica, Reggae Sumfest is an entire week of head bobbin´, drum beatin´, hip-swayin´ fun.

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Curvy Diva, Kim Nain ready for new Sumfest roles Stephanie Lyew

July 06, 2018
Yanique ‘Curvy Diva’ Barrett
For the past two years, Yanique ‘Curvy Diva’ Barrett has played the role of host for the Reggae Sumfest Beach Party. This year, the ‘Lifestyle’ singer will add performing on the main stage on dancehall night to her list of duties for the festival.

“To know that I have put in the work for the last year as a recording artiste and to see that my hard work has paid off that I am now recognised as a female dancehall artiste on one of the biggest stages for reggae music is a wonderful feeling,” she said.

There is no pressure, she says, in having to host the beach party and prepare to deliver a set a few days later.

“All my roles tie together in entertainment. it depends on what is required of me at a particular time or specific occasion. I am humbled that I am very diverse and can play so many roles,” she said.

Curvy Diva is hoping that from the Reggae Sumfest performance, more persons will recognise that she is serious about her role as an artiste and her fan base will be increasesd, especially at the international level.

Meanwhile, Kim Nain, who once took on the role as backup vocalist for Tifa at a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest, says she is now preparing to get the full experience of the festival.

“Although I will be somewhere in the earlier segment of dancehall night performances, it will add to everything that makes it a great show each year and my personal journey,” Kim Nain said.

Kim Nain and Curvy Diva are excited to be two of the five females representing for local women in the industry on Dancehall Night. Kim Nain has been spending more than four hours each day rehearsing for the festival.

“It has been a long time coming because I never had the time to put my full focus on my music before 2015,” she said.

According to Curvy Diva, the females of dancehall are under-represented not only on the stages of big festivals like Reggae Sumfest, but in the industry.

“I would love to see more females stepping up and out representing the industry overall like so many talented females who already paved the way,” Curvy Diva said.

Spice, Press Kay and Tosh Alexander the other female artistes mentioned on event flyers to perform on dancehall night.

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Reggae Sumfest/Downsound Entertainment has opened up a web store for merchandise


reggaesumfestAccess to the new store is through the SHOP button on WEBSITE or go to www.downsoundshop.com  

The Online Store is located in North America and will service online orders world wide.

Reggae Sumfest merchandise is featured now, and Downsound will soon, also be offering vintage Sumfest designs from shows over the 26 year history of Reggae Sumfest, plus individual artist merchandise, and Caribbean Lifestyle merchandise… to bring an authentic Caribbean vibe to the world of merchandise. 

 

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July 3, 2018 

Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year

All-star Lineup to Perform at Reggae Sumfest, July 15 – 22

 KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s iconic music festival Reggae Sumfest has been expanded to eight days this year, according to Downsound Entertainment, festival owners since 2016. Thousands of reggae and dancehall fans from across the world will be descending on the island to attend the 26th staging of the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth,” from July 15 – 22 in Montego Bay.

This year’s festival has attracted some of the genre’s biggest names, including Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Beres Hammond, Capleton, Bounty Killer, I-Octane, Spice and Raging Fyah.

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year with Beres Hammond Performing

Beres Hammond

Damian Marley to perform at Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest

Damian Marley

Patrons are in for an extra treat this year as for the first time, a Latin flavor has been added with Mexican reggae artist Jah Fabio set to perform on Friday night.

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year with Jah Fabio

Jah Fabio

“Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music, and this world class festival, Reggae Sumfest, affords music lovers an opportunity to enjoy some of their favorite artists in a great setting,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Summer is an exciting time to visit Jamaica and this event is one of the many activities visitors can enjoy as they immerse themselves in our culture, interact with our people and experience our scrumptious cuisine.”

Reggae Sumfest Activities
  • Sumfest Colorfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 15
  • Sumfest Street Jam on Monday, July 16
  • Sumfest All White Party on Tuesday, July 17
  • Sumfest Blitz on Wednesday, July 18
  • Sumfest Inspire Awards & Heavyweight Clash on Thursday, July 19
  • Reggae Industry Symposium & Sumfest Dancehall Night on Friday, July 20
  • Sumfest Reggae Night on Saturday, July 21
  • Sumfest Morning Medz on Sunday, July 22
Reggae Sumfest Hotel Packages

With the festival dates fast approaching, hotels are filling up quickly with many already sold out.

Hotel partner and Platinum Sponsor Iberostar Hotels & Resort, the all-inclusive luxury five-star property is offering the following Reggae Sumfest packages for July 20 – 22:

Hotel Single (per person/per night) Double (per person/per night)
Iberostar Beach               US$210                US$170
Iberostar Suites               US$256                US$196
Iberostar Grand               US$329                US$249

Other partners offering special Reggae Sumfest packages include: Deja All-Inclusive Resort, Grand Palladium Jamaica & Lady Hamilton Resorts & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Sandals Resorts, Sea Gardens Beach Resort and The Wexford Hotel.

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New strategy for Reggae Sumfest

BY BALFORD HENRY  July 04, 2018

Twenty-three Jamaican-owned businesses will be showcasing authentic local products as the promoters of the annual event have decided to open up the facilities to them this year.

Chairman and CEO of promoters DownSound Entertainment Joe Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he thinks it is time to allow Jamaica’s small business sector to benefit from the opportunities for their growth and development created by the event.

“This initiative gives small businesses in Jamaica a platform to exhibit their products and work while promoting Brand Jamaica,” the entrepreneur said.

“This new addition to the festival will help to develop the tourism sector and is also beneficial to the overall economy. We look forward to continuing and expanding this project in the years to come,” he added.

Since acquiring the event from former owners Summerfest Productions, in April 2016, Bogdanovich has been promoting the idea that it is the country’s responsibility to develop and protect its cutural brand.

He promised major changes for the Sumfest brand in its first two years under his administration which would help to make the industry thrive. He said then that 2016 will be the transitional year, in which DownSound will be working closely with Johnny Gourzong, Robert Russell and Tina Davis, who have developed the brand for 25 years.

“It is critical that the home of reggae music gets its house in order. The theme of unity through music is a key factor for success in the festival business. Artists must understand and work together as well as the sponsors and government agencies to accept the fact that reggae/dancehall is a natural resource of the country, and that it’s the responsibility of the country for it to be developed and protected,” he insisted.

In the past, the most important questions about Sumfest were those about the acts, their performances, and who took the respective nights; however, with the changes being introduced by Bogdanovich, it is clear that he aims to shift the attention to the sustainability of the Jamaican culture’s dominance across the Caribbean.

According to Bogdanovich, with the wide variety of products being offered — from Bresheh with their handcrafted backpacks, handbags and totes, to Live Charcoal portraits done by Jeffperry Art — there is something for everyone.

Reggae Sumfest will be held July 15-22 in Montego Bay — currently under enhanced security measures slated to last until August 2 — and Bogdanovich remains confident that this year’s event will be an improvement on last year’s very successful 25th anniversary presentation.

Jamaica’s premier reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest is a week of parties and performances from some of the top names in reggae and dancehall.

Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Spice, Stonebwoy from Ghana, Capleton, Cham, and Maxi Priest are all among the star-studded line-up.

The week also includes a conference examining the state of the reggae industry.

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Food vendor gets ready for Reggae Sumfest

July 03, 2018
At Right: George Lowe

Patrons attending this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, St James, can rest assured that they won’t have to enjoy the music on empty stomachs, as the Pizza Truck Express will be among the vendors supplying mouth-watering treats just as they have done since 2010.

Pizza Truck Express, which started its operations in 2009 and joined forces with Reggae Sumfest’s organisers the following year, has over the years successfully provided patrons of the annual musical show with a variety of pizzas and sandwiches to suit every taste.

The pizza provider’s menu for this year will include mainstay pizzas that have been available from the days when it started out with a stall at the venue and over time upgraded to its signature truck. Those options include cheese, pepperoni, jerk barbecue chicken, shrimp, and even vegetarian for those seeking a meatless option.

Its sandwiches are likewise varied, to include its signature nine-inch ham and salami sub-sandwich and other options such as chicken, turkey, and its newest, beef sandwich.

HOUSEHOLD NAME

George Lowe, the proprietor of Pizza Truck Express, said that the brand has become a household name in Montego Bay, and even overseas.

“We have been going to Reggae Sumfest annually, and we are very popular with the patrons. We stand out because the product is local in and around Montego Bay, so therefore, each year at Reggae Sumfest they look out for us,” said Lowe.

“We have overseas customers who come annually, and the response we get from the customers while we are in there at Reggae Sumfest, is overwhelming,” Lowe added.

The 26th anniversary of Reggae Sumfest will take place in Montego Bay, St James, on July 15-22. Capleton the ‘Fireman’ will be closing night two, popularly called Reggae Night, of this year’s renewal of Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest.

Several top artistes have been billed to perform on night two of the festival. They include Beres Hammond, Jr Gong, Maxi Priest, Cham, J Bogg, Jesse Royal Jahdore, Fantan Mojah, Empress Ayeola and Raging Fyah.

Sizzla Kalonji is expected to give a fiery set on Dancehall Night. The likes of Bounty Killer, Popcaan, Aidonia, Spice, and Masicka are also booked to perform.

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