Author: joana

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Stonebwoy To Perform At Reggae Sumfest In Jamaica

 

As Reggae Sumfest celebrates its 26th anniversary this year, the greatest and only reggae show in Jamaica has, again, opened its doors to Africa.

Reggae Sumfest’s CEO Joseph Bagdonovich, in his bid to unite through music, has extended an invitation to Ghana’s most popular dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy.

Bagdonovich has also made the streaming free for Africans to watch.

Stonebwoy, who is excited about his first-ever performance at Reggae Sumfest, posted a video of his rehearsal, saying, “It’s a dancehall night this Friday at Montego Bay. Come witness the fire.”

Ghanaians can join the global live stream of Reggae Sumfest on both Friday and Saturday via reggaesumfest.cleeng.com or www.ameyawdebrah.com.

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Some patrons who attended the Sumfest “Colour-Fest” Beach Party at Tropical Bliss in Montego Bay, St James on Sunday, enjoyed the event from the vantage point of their cabanas.

The cabana concept, which was introduced to the 26-year-old Reggae Sumfest this year, allowed patrons to rent a cabana for the night. It not only offered a bird’s eye view of the activities, but also the added comfort of a beach bed.

Director of Reggae Sumfest, Robert Russell said the venue, Tropical Bliss, provided the perfect location for the introduction of the cabana concept.

He said patrons “warmed” to the idea which resulted in the cabanas being “sold out” in short order, once the gates to the venue were opened.

“We at Reggae Sumfest are always on a mission to improve the experience of our valued patrons and the Cabana concept presented us with an avenue to add  luxury to the beach party. We obviously didn’t have enough Cabanas to rent, but the patrons who were lucky enough to secure one, were very happy,” Russell said.

“Looking ahead to next year and beyond, we will see how we can add more of these cabanas to the venue while taking into consideration that they will have to be tastefully designed and positioned.”

Meanwhile, patrons who had to be at the venue very early on Sunday in order to rent their cabana, were very pleased they did and commended the organizers of Sumfest for such a futuristic and patron-centred move.

“We are very pleased that we were able to get one of these wonderful cabanas to rent for this party. The world is moving in the direction of bringing luxury to parties and entertainment events and we are happy that Sumfest has joined the trend,” a patron, Michelle Jones said.

Sunday’s Sumfest “Colour-Fest” Beach party saw hundreds of fun-loving party-goers descending on the venue for the high-energy event which was hosted by the “Curvy Diva” Yanique Barrett and Noah Power and featured DJs Team Shella, Jigga and Crazy Neil.

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The ‘King’ of Sumfest’s main nights – Worrell manages stage from festival’s beginning

July 17, 2018
File Woerrell King, stage manager for Reggae Sumfest 2018.

Worrell King is generally upbeat about stage management, which he has been doing for four decades. This includes working with Reggae Sumfest since its inception, and he tells THE STAR that he is especially happy with the approach of the current organisers. The festival is now run by the Joe Bogdanovich-led Downsound Entertainment. King does stage management for the main concert nights at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay.

“I particularly enjoy working on Sumfest since they have taken over. I think the present owners value my position more than the average promoter,” said King. “They presented me with an award last year.”

Noting that he is “particularly motivated” for Reggae Sumfest 2018, King said: “It is because the promoters are so enthused about making a professional presentation.”

King made it clear that he is not putting down the former lead Sumfest organisers, as “they, too, were, in their own way, professionals and pushed for a professional presentation.”

Another factor contributing to King’s anticipation is the line-up.

“I think the artistes chosen are motivated to work,” he said.

Next Friday’s Dancehall Night roster includes Spice, Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Masicka, Harry Toddler, Yanique Curvy Diva, I-Octane, Tommy Lee Sparta, Agent Sasco and Tosh Alexander. Saturday’s closing night features Beres Hammond, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley and Maxi Priest.

MOST CHALLENGING NIGHT

Over the years, King said: “Dancehall Night has posed more challenges than the other nights. It makes me feel like I am working or have worked. It is not an easy thing, but I have been successful many, many years. Challenges go with work, so they have to be taken care of.”

Although King has been stage manager for numerous concerts outside of Sumfest, he has never occupied that role for his own productions, which have included Eastern Consciousness, Western Consciousness, Reggae Sanity and Tribute to Peter Tosh.

“It is the most intricate job. It needs your entire senses. It is not easy to be a promoter and stage manager,” King said. He sums up the stage manager’s role as being responsible for everything that happens on the concert stage, from ensuring that equipment is in place and working properly to quick band changes and maintaining a smooth, punctual flow throughout – from a punctual start to ending on schedule.

King said that many times artistes want to know not only their time slots, but also who is performing before and after them. Plus, on concert night, there can be those who try to adjust the schedule by getting to the venue later then the time they were slated to perform, if they believe they were placed too early.

The time management begins at rehearsals, which King attends, and it is there that an artiste’s ego often starts to show “and you have to deal with it.”

He is clear about what he wants from the performers on the main stage nights of Reggae Sumfest 2018, where punctuality is key.

“I am asking all the artistes to be professional. I am begging for that. Come to the people show on time. Come off the people stage on time. We have limited time, so when you get a time, please stick to that limitation and make a professional presentation,” King said.

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MoBay designated special entertainment district for Sumfest

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has asked the security forces to consider special operational plans to facilitate this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest without undermining the State of Public Emergency in St. James.
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday, Mr. Holness said the government has designated a special entertainment district in Montego Bay.
The Prime Minister said there will be some leeway until the festival ends on July 22.
This is aimed at facilitating the extended operations of some establishments for Sumfest in this district. These include clubs and fast food restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets and other places offering goods for sale.
He noted that consideration will also be given to persons in the St. Catherine North Police Division which is under a State of Public Emergency.
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Sumfest Street Dance rocks Old Hospital Park    Okoye Henry

July 18, 2018
Okoye Henry photo Scenes from Reggae Sumfest Street Dance.
The relaxing and leisurely landscape of the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay had its temperature ramped up with the inaugural Reggae Sumfest Street Dance on Monday.

It was an explosion of entertainment and activity as the aesthetically pleasing coastal venue delivered on the second night of the festival, bringing together hundreds of local patrons and their international guests.

DJ Noah Powa got the crowd jumping in the early hours of the evening as party enthusiasts made their way into the free event and were greeted by good food and drink, prizes, surprises and tons of giveaways.

In addition, Jamaica’s rich heritage was front and centre showcasing the finest cultural cosmetics, clothing and treats to the delight of tourists.

Dancehall top selectors Ikel Marvlus and Flabba Dabba of Team Shella took to the set later on and had fans dancing up a storm with hits such as Elephant Man’s Signal the Plane, Vybz Kartel’s Life Is What You Make It and Tommy Lee’s Money Make Friend.

The event also rolled out the red carpet to local celebrities such as Orville Hall and his Dance Xpressionz team; Dancing Dynamite finalists, Anchovy High; and even Reggae Sumfest’s principal and CEO of DownSound Record, Joe Bogdanovich.

“Reggae Sumfest 2018 is bigger and better than ever and it is going to be a lot of joy and togetherness with great music and great art,” said Bogdanovich.

“We are bringing a whole new level of entertainment in Jamaica. There are hundreds of people here at the street dance party. The vibes is good and it is all about reggae and dancehall. I feel good about it,” he added.

One patron, Jevaughn Brown, described the event as an amazing night of good fun and entertainment.

“It was great to see so many people come out, including tourists, with their family and friends to enjoy this wonderful experience,” said Brown.

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There is no ban on all chairs – Sumfest director clarifies website statement

 July 11, 2018

Organisers of Reggae Sumfest will be restricting the type of chairs patrons will be allowed to take to the venue for the Friday and Saturday night live shows.

The 26th staging of the world-renowned music festival will be held at Catherine Hall entertainment complex on July 20 and 21.

According to the Sumfest website, “ticket holders may not bring in chairs to the festival, due to safety issues and regulations”.

However, in a telephone interview with THE STAR, Sumfest director and deputy chairman Robert Russell said that the restrictions will be for seats of a certain size.

“We going to allow people to use chairs, but what we won’t allow is the big, sprawling lounge chairs that take up two and three spaces,” Russell said. “(We will allow) chairs that patrons can sit on comfortably, (because) we can’t expect patrons to stand up all night. I would not be going if I had to stand up all night … but there has to be restrictions.”

The website said the new restrictions will affect the last two nights and is established to ensure the safety of patrons, and comes at a time when a record number of reggae music fans is projected to attend.

Sizzla, Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Harry Toddla, Agent Sasco, Shane O, Tosh Alexander, Tommy Lee, Dance Xpressionz, Rygin King, Govana and Stonebwoy (Ghana) are among the acts scheduled to perform on Friday’s dancehall night.

The legendary Beres Hammond, Damian Marley, Capleton, Cham, Fantan Mojah, J Boog, Jah Dore, Jesse Royal, Raging Fyah, Naomi Cowan and Empress Ayeola are among those billed for Saturday night.

– Albert Ferguson

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Grace Previews Its Sumfest Line-Up

Thursday, July 12, 2018

From left: butter almond festivals, sweet and spicy buffalo wings and Scotch bonnet buttered sweet corn (Photos: Karl McLarty

On Sunday, July 8, Grace Kitchens in conjunction with Downsound Entertainment previewed some of the items that the brand will serve in the food hall at Reggae Sumfest between July 15 and 22. Executed by Christian Sweeney, executive chef, Fuzion Food Services, the menu showcased some of Grace’s best items. The Red Stripe bar was stocked with sorrel, lemon paradise, light and original Red Stripe beers; Grace coconut water, Tropical Rhythms, D&G sodas and Catherine’s Peak water.

Guests mingled in the courtyard of Downsound HQ while noshing on an array of fare. On offer was a selection of pasta, meat, fish and side dishes. There were Grace tuna and sweetcorn pasta, Grace jerk chicken pasta and Grace jerk veggie pasta. Sweet and spicy buffalo wings, jerk pan hot dogs and jerk stuffed whole snapper. Rounding out the meal were butter almond festivals and Scotch bonnet buttered sweet corn.

The pasta had an expertly made béchamel — it was creamy, had a mild jerk flavour and the veggies and the chicken were fresh and well-cooked. The hot dogs (marinated in jerk seasoning) were very appetising but would have been a sure knockout were the buns toasted or steamed. The wings were very yummy and Thursday Food broke all the rules of etiquette by licking its fingers; they were that good. The stuffed snapper, roasted whole in aluminium foil, was filled with fresh herbs, earthy callaloo and al dente carrots. However, it would have benefited from being served fresh off the grill as the butter began to congeal in the foil wrapper.

The corn was flavourful and slick with butter. And, just when you thought you’ve had every variation of festival there is, Chef Sweeney turns up with a buttered almond version. Nuanced with nutty flavour and perfectly fried, you’ll want the recipe.

As a parting gift, guests were given an insulated cup and a VIP pass that entitles them to unlimited soup and one full meal from Grace on any Sumfest night of their choosing.

This sneak peek of Grace’s Sumfest food offerings along with ice-cold Red Stripe was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Young Artistes See Reggae Sumfest As ‘The Beginning’

Published:Saturday | July 14, 2018 |  Stephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

Shenseea
The Reggae Sumfest small stage has introduced a few of the fiercest names in reggae and dancehall to a wide music-loving audience and has even acted as the platform to ‘buss big’. The list includes reggae entertainers Warrior King, Bushman and Shenseea, who have graduated to the main stage following their appearances on the small stage.

Its reputation for promoting talents is highly revered among the fraternity of emerging artistes despite the early placements and short performance time it offers.

According to emerging artist D’Yani, who is performing on Reggae Sumfest Reggae Night (night two), an opportunity, no matter how small is at the end of the day, a good opportunity.

“The platform is there to explore. As a young artiste, you must use, every minute to deliver a good solid set that will leave a lasting impact,” he told The Gleaner.

The Sad Story singer was recognised by the Reggae Sumfest team while performing on the Fame 95FM Road Party.

“The eight to 10 minutes up-and-coming artistes like myself have will still be a part of the broadcast to an international audience,” he said. “I honestly did not envision being on the stage when I attended in 2016 to see Barrington Levy on the stage.”

Dancehall singjay Kim Nain shared the same sentiment. “It is the beginning for another part of the musical journeys young artistes are taking,” she said.

Meanwhile, Imeru Tafari, 24-year-old son of Queen Ifrica and fast-rising reggae artiste, sees the stage show like any other event where he is given time to perform.

“It could be a Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute or smaller event – to me, it is about showing not only my talent, but most importantly, sharing the message of positivity and righteousness. For all the shows, it is the same,” he said.

Imeru Tafari is cognisant that he will only receive five minutes to perform his set but nonchalantly answered, “It’s not a big problem. Two song can still deliver in that time.” He says his true satisfaction comes from being able to share the lyrics.

“The Reggae Sumfest stage is definitely one that will expose me to bigger platforms being an international show, and I am hoping it brings me across the world,” he added.

“It is my second time performing. The first time, my mother called me on stage to perform with her. There I got the chance to sing Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley’s verse from their collaboration, Trueversation,” he recalled.

Other young reggae performers include Abatau (son of Tony Rebel), Naomi Cowan, and Stushie, and among the emerging dancehall acts Rygin King and Vanzo.

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