Author: joana


May 03, 2018 4 Comments

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Marketing consultant Marcia McDonnough (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

A few changes are coming for this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest.

Bogdanovich and his team announced that at least three new events have been added to the roster; the physical capacity of the venue is being increased; parking is being improved; and patrons are being offered more of an experience through an improved food court and the addition of the Sumfest Mall.

“We are looking to increase the capacity this year. Last year we were pretty full and so we want to stay according to the demands of the fire department for safety. So we have ways of increasing the capacity. So I think we are going to have a really big crowd this year. We will reconfigure the food court. There will be improvement in the parking arrangements. We definitely want a lot of cars across the street. The ultra VIP experience was a hit last year, something new a lot of people didn’t know about it and those two sections on stage right and stage left. It is being extended and more people will be able to buy chairs on those two platforms. About 400 people will be able to get chairs on a platform,” said Bogdanovich.

Reggae Sumfest’s week of activities commences on Sunday, July 15 with the traditional Beach Party at Tropical Bliss Beach. The following day will see The Sumfest Street Jam at the old Hospital Park followed by the All-White party at Pier 1 on July 17. The events move to the Hard Rock Café for Sumfest Blitz on July 18.

Th first of the new events — Sumfest Inspire Awards — is a by-invitation-only event and will be staged on July 19 at the Iberostar Resort.

Marketing consultant Marcia McDonnough explained that this event will replace the traditional Sumfest press conference.

“Over the years we have staged a press conference, but over the years it has lost its sparkle. So this year we are doing the Sumfest Inspire Awards, a red-carpet-style awards with all the trappings at Iberostar. We are looking to having all kinds of awards related to reggae and music. We will have some press awards like the Golden Pen and Photo Guru as well as persons who have contributed to Reggae Sumfest over the years.”

 In addition to the awards, there will also be the Sumfest World Clash at Pier 1 on that same evening. This event will feature Tony Matterhorn, Mighty Crown, Pink Panther and Ricky Trooper.

July 20 will see the other new event, the Reggae Industry Symposium, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. While the details are still being pulled together, McDonnough said it will be of interest to a wide cross section of persons.

“On Friday morning we are going to have another new event which is the Sumfest Symposium. We have a lot of persons who come here and are interested in our music and our dance. So we have partnered with Dance Xpressionz who have a very nice track through the whole reggae experience. Nothing is written in stone, but we will have things that are interesting not only to students but to the general public,” she announced.

Later that evening, the festival’s first night of performances takes to the stage at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre. Night one — dancehall night — will also feature Sizzla, Popcaan, Aidonia, Spice, Ding Dong, Harry Toddler, Agent Sasco, Tommy Lee, Shane O, Ghanian Afro pop, dancehall and reggae artiste Stonebwoy and other acts.

Night two of the performances is being headlined by Beres Hammond, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley and Maxi Priest. Other acts to take the stage include Capleton, Cham, Fantan Mojah, American reggae act J Boog, Jesse Royal, and Raging Fyah.

The week concludes with another new event — the Sumfest Morning Medz — a tailgate cooler fete immediately after the performances. This event will be held at Dump-up Beach in the heart of Montego Bay.

— Richard Johnson

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Reggae Sumfest 2018: A Week-Long Reggae Party in Paradise


Reggae Sumfest & Downsound Entertainment have set the bar for Reggae events sky-high with the Week-Long Sumfest Event Schedule for 2018! 

Reggae fans from around the world are already scooping up their tickets to the hottest week in Reggae & Dancehall and will arrive in Montego Bay by July 15th to experience the festival of a lifetime.

Pre-Events Include:

The Colorfest Beach Party on July 15 at Tropical 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

Reggae Sumfest

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.

 Advance Tickets Now On Sale for All Reggae Sumfest Events…And don’t forget to print out your free tickets to the big Street Dance on the Hip Strip Monday July 16…. Don’t miss out….The Ultra VIP with Seat Tickets are going fast…As well as VIP Tickets…and GA….Reggae Sumfest 2018 looks like it is heading to a sellout. 

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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Reggae Sumfest Street Dance – July 16th 2018, 7:00 PM

Location: The Hip Strip – Montego Bay JM
Admission: $0
Reggae Sumfest Presents: Street Dance. Music By: Team Shella & Noah Powa. Monday Jul 16, 2018 from 7pm – 2am. Adm: Free.

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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Sumfest 2018 Introduces Sponsors, Artistes To New York

 | April 20, 2018 | 

From left: Ricardo Bryan, senior vice-president, sales and distribution at GraceKennedy Foods (USA); Karen Durgana, public relations representative for Workforce Development City of NYC; Robert Russell, deputy chairman of Reggae Sumfest; Trudy Deans, consul general of Jamaica to New York; Josef Bogdanovich, founder and CEO of DownSound Records; and Christopher Dobson, business development officer, Jamaica Tourist Board.
On Tuesday night, the Big Apple got a chance to meet the sponsors and artistes of this year’s Reggae Sumfest at the New York launch of the concert, held at DL in lower Manhattan.In his remarks, founder and CEO of Downsound Records Josef Bogdanovich spoke about Jamaica’s excellent track record in not just sports, but music, including reggae and dancehall.”Reggae Sumfest is arguably the biggest reggae festival in the world – in terms of an audience base of over 65 million digital impressions, and close to a million visits to our YouTube channel [during] the weekend of the festival watching the stream, with another 100,000 videos from the festival currently being viewed. And it’s generating hundreds of millions of added views to this festival today. This is a sign of where we must all go,” he said. He emphasised the importance of promoting unity through music, adding that it’s time to drive some sense into not only our families, but send a signal to the world that Jamaica is beating the drum hard for world peace and togetherness.”The madness must stop! We at home must understand the power of our music, and to support the festival and others that support this message. To do this, we must understand the economics of survival.

“We at home should acknowledge that there is greater understanding or, should I say, ‘over standing’, that unity is one of the keys to survival. Stop the violence. Get educated. Get yourself together.” He invited everyone to experience the World Clash on July at Pier 1 in Montego Bay, which returns after a five-year hiatus. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Irish and Chin’s World Clash. Reggae Sumfest 2018 will run from July 15-22. Some of the most recognised names in Jamaican music have been confirmed, including Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Beres Hammond, Spice, and Popcaan.

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Reggae Sumfest 2018 Presents World Clash 20th Anniversary

Reggae Sumfest 2018 Presents Irish & Chin’s World Clash 20th Anniversary

The Epic Sumfest Battle in Montego Bay on July 19 will feature DJs Tony MatterhornMighty CrownRicky Trooper and Pink Panther 

Jamaica’s rich music culture is often emulated throughout the world. A good old-fashioned sound clash is one of the many musical standouts originated in the country that reggae fans across the world have come to enjoy. More classically defined, a sound clash is a DJ battle (mostly in reggae and dancehall) where two collective sounds – consisting of one or more selectors (or DJs as they say in U.S.) – go tune for tune. They often use custom remixes (aka dub plates) featuring drops from marquee artists to win over the audience.

Now, Jamaica’s largest music festival Reggae Sumfest will host the iconic sound clash from one of the biggest players in the game. Irish and Chin will celebrate their 20th anniversary for a toe-to-toe, can’t-miss competition between leading sounds – Tony Matterhorn, Mighty Crown, Ricky Trooper and Pink Panther. This commemorative event will take place on Thu. July 19 at Pier One Event Center in Montego Bay, the night before Sumfest’s 2-day music festival.

Based on the historical context of its contenders, this year’s competition will be epic. Tony Matterhorn, the former selector for King Addies before going solo in 1999 at World Clash, is the first selector to win back-to-back World Clash titles, securing victories at World Clash Jamaica (aka Death Before Dishonor) in 2002 and 2003. Pink Panther, while playing Black Kat, has won the most World Clash titles in the 20 year run of the Series. He has 6 World Clash trophies. Mighty Crown from Yokohama, Japan has won a total of 5 World Clash titles. They became internationally renowned in 1999 at World Clash after defeating Kilimanjaro, featuring Ricky Trooper, and Tony Matterhorn. Ricky Trooper, as lead selector of Kilimanjaro, won the first ever Irish and Chin World Clash, which was held in 1998 at Amazura in Queens, NY. His first major win under his own sound system, Sound Trooper was at World Clash Jamaica (aka Death Before Dishonor) in 2006.

Throughout it’s 20 year run, World Clash has been hosted by a number of celebrities including Ninjaman, Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Bounty Killer.