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10 most memorable moments of Reggae Sumfest

Biko Kennedy, Youthlink Writer

The euphoria of Wednesday night, August 11, 1993, at the then Bob Marley Entertainment Complex changed the face of reggae festivals forever. Word of the extravagant showcasing spread globally and hit the press like a prairie wildfire, ultimately acclaiming it the world’s greatest reggae festival.

Twenty years later, Reggae Sumfest has done something that other major festivals have not; it has remained as the archetype for other reggae festivals. Since Reggae Sumfest is a mere weeks away, Youthlink presents 10 of the most memorable moments in the festival’s history.

1. Dance lessons with Professor Ele

On Saturday, July 24, 2010, under the watchful eye of the ‘energy god’ Elephant Man, Usher and Chris Brown learnt how to deejay in the local dialect and ‘sway’ to the rhythm of our beat, which they did flawlessly. From Chris’ signaling to the band to ‘level’, before belting out a snippet of his single Brown Skin Girl, to Usher showing approval with a few ‘bap, bap, bap’, the thunderous applause and deafening screams indicated that the crowd approved of Usher including Elephant Man in his near two-hour set. It left the showcasing on a high that year.

2. A legend speaks

After a disappointingly early end in 2000 when Shaggy’s performance closed the show long before the onset of daylight, in 2001, Bunny Wailer sealed the deal with an unforgettable, impromptu performance and speech. The lone Wailer held the dwindling crowd in a trance which lasted well over 20 minutes. He performed singles from his Blackheart Man album as well as some Bob Marley and Peter Tosh classics. In the early light of Monday morning, Independence Day, Bunny made Reggae Sumfest 2001 a truly memorable moment in history.

3. Dru Hill mesmerises

Dru Hill, on August 7, 1999, permanently etched ‘Worl-A-Reggae’ Night in the minds of female patrons. Even if they hadn’t heard about the group prior to its performance, they were left spellbound as the remaining three group members delivered a spectacle never before seen on Jamaica’s shores. Their great music, showmanship and forward thinking made for a showcasing that was simply amazing.

4. Boyz II Men at their best

1998’s Reggae Sumfest could possibly go down as one of the most successful staging as an estimated 15,000 patrons turned out to see Boyz II Men in their glory; even the largest Dancehall Night crowd couldn’t rival this one. On Saturday, August 8, the R&B group took the stage for its 75-minute set clad in matching sequin-studded baseball shirts and denim shorts. They gave an energetic performance packed with hits and well- rehearsed choreography which left screaming fans in a daze.

5. Enter an Indian cat

At the inaugural staging of the festival in 1993, as the curtains came down marking its immense success, Super Cat was the main talking point. In an era where lewd lyrics and violence were a deejay’s main weapon, the level of maturity shown by Super Cat on the final night of the festival, Saturday, August 14, went down particularly well with promoters and patrons. The Cat, geared in an Indian chief’s headdress, included Don Dada, Permit Fi Gun, Under Pressure and Cry Fi Di Youth in his 45-minute set, raising the bar for future festivals.

6. Three the hard way

Saturday’s ‘Worl-A-Reggae’ Night on August 7, 1999, left a bitter-sweet taste in the mouths of many patrons. Vintage legends Gregory Isaacs, John Holt and Ken Boothe paid tribute to the late Dennis Brown after his tragic death on July 1 of the same year. Dubbed ‘three the hard way’, classics such as Here I Come, Promise Land and Money In My Pocket were among the songs sung verbatim by the massive Sumfest crowd. Sadly, patrons could only reminisce on Brown’s musical journey which ultimately crowned him the prince of reggae.

7. The messenger’s grace

Jamaica’s hit-per-hit sensation, Luciano, left Reggae Sumfest ablaze on Friday’s Roots Rock Jam Night on August 8, 1997. Normally, Dancehall Night would have been the most interesting night of the Sumfest showcasing but Luciano’s presence that year told a different story. After his hour-long performance he was applauded as the best-ever on reggae’s stage. Not since the late Peter Tosh in the mid-1980s had a reggae performer captivated a crowd as Luciano did that Friday night.

8. Independent women shined

It was a ‘bootylicious’ night on Saturday, July 26, 2003, as the ladies of Destiny’s Child graced the Reggae Sumfest stage. The main international headliners thrilled patrons with electrifying choreographed routines. With each member of the trio also performing solo acts, it was Beyonce and Sean Paul’s collaborative effort on Baby Boy that left the crowd cheering and screaming a near-deafening cry.

9. An unexpected crowd surf

As Friday’s International Night 1 reached its climax on July 18, 2008, everyone left talking about Akon’s performance. Not only did he deliver a powerful set, reeling off hit after hit, but he also did the unimaginable. He left the main stage, climbed over security posts, skimmed across the VIP section and mixed and mingled with the general patrons then did a crowd surf … like a boss! The panic among his security detail could only be imagined.

10. Marley magic

When Damian, Kymani, Stephen and Julian Marley hit the stage on the final night of Reggae Sumfest (July 27) 2002 and performed their father’s classic, Could You Be Loved, only one word could describe the moment … magical. The quartet’s performance left patrons mesmerized and reminiscing on the late reggae legend. Surely he was looking on from the musical realm with streaks of gray racing through his locks, perhaps nodding in approval of his sons.

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Bucket List Worthy

 Reggae Sumfest – JAMAICA (July 16-22)
Credit: Reggae Sumfest Facebook
Credit: Reggae Sumfest Facebook

The Festival

If there’s one person who understood the restorative effects of reggae, it was unquestionably Bob Marley. The Rastafari legend once said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain,” which has long been the essence of Reggae Sumfest, a week-long music festival taking place in the luxurious quarters of Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Credit: Reggae Sumfest Facebook
Credit: Reggae Sumfest Facebook

What To Expect

2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of Reggae Sumfest. That means a few things for visitors: 1) more crowds, 2) more unforgettable music, and 3) more opportunities to make history. The festival will kick off with a “Wild Beach Party” on the 16th, a yacht cruise on the 17th, and the ultimate retro “block party” devoted to 90s dancehall shortly thereafter.

Reggae lovers will also find themselves in paradise. Artists like Bounty Killer and Jah Cure are headliners, alongside countless others. Check out the line-up here.

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Reggae Sumfest to feature highly anticipated Second-Generation Reggae Performers

By: RBA Publishing June 30, 2017
Reggae Sumfest 2017 features Meleku the son of Sizzla & Davianah, the daughter of Tony Rebel.
Creativity must be in the genes as Sizzla’s son Meleku is making a name for himself as a reggae artist, appearing on stage alongside his famous father the past few years and now will be performing at the Main Event on July 22nd.
Another relatively new artist is Davianah, the daughter of the legendary Tony Rebel also performing at the Main Event Night 2, July 22nd, 2017. Reggae fans worldwide are eagerly anticipating these performances as they have been listening to their parents for decades.

If you can’t attend in person do make sure you tune in to the 360Degree Live Stream.


-RBA Publishing June 30, 2017


The Reggae Sumfest Semi is on the road to the Biggest Reggae Concert of the year

Make sure you take a photo if you see the truck & tag it #ReggaeSumfest2017 for a chance to be featured




Le Reggae Sumfest est sans doute le plus grand festival reggae au monde !!! Cette année s’annonce particulièrement bouillante pour la 25ème édition. Les stars seront de sortie les 21 et 22 juillet avec notamment Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Jah Cure, Queen Ifrica ou encore Alkaline. Le festival durera une semaine, du 16 au 22 juillet, à Montego Bay avec des sound systems, une boat party, un clash et une fin en apothéose les deux derniers soirs.
Et pour ceux qui ne peuvent se déplacer jusqu’à la Jamaïque, les deux dernières nuits seront retransmises en streaming en vidéo 360° !

Programme détaillé :
Dimanche 16 juillet
* Sumfest Beach Party – Adults Only *
– Chris Diamond – Dexta Pepper – Jigga & Coppershot – Yanique Shanique & the String Bikin Models

Lundi 17 juillet 
* Sumfest @ Sunset on the Treasure Queen – Boat Party *
– Kurt Riley – ZJ Liquid

Mardi 18 juillet 
* Sumfest All White Party *

Mercredi 19 juillet
* Retro Block Party – Special Dancehall 90’s *
– Stone Love – Skyjuice – Passa Passa – Swatch International –

Jeudi 20 juillet 
* Sumfest Heavywieght Clash *
No Limit Sound VS Yard Beat VS Warrior Sound International
Guests : Black Chiney + Bishop International + Referee Nuffy

Vendredi 21 juillet 
* Main Event Night 1 *
AlkalineMavadoBounty Killer – Tory Lanez – AidoniaBeenie Man – Spice – Tommy Lee Sparta – Masicka – Patoranking – Devin Di Dakta – Tifa – Jahmiel – Ding Dong – Harry Toddler & Ikel Marvelous – Bucky Marshall – Tuffa Lie – John Hype – Shelly Belly – Shenseea – Shankle Dip & Blazzy + Guests

Samedi 22 juillet 
* Main Event Night 2 *
Sean PaulSizzlaJah Cure – Christopher Martin – Queen Ifrica – Dexta Daps – Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band – Kabaka PyramidMad Cobra – Feluke – Deep Jahi – Meleku – Davianah + Guests

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¡Se acerca la fiesta más importante de música reggae en el mundo!

¡Se acerca la fiesta más importante de música reggae en el mundo!

El Santi Agudelo

Junio 27th, 2017

Es difícil exagerar el impacto que ha tenido Jamaica en la música Reggae y la cultura pop en todo el mundo. Reggae Sumfest no ha sido una parte pequeña de ese legado. Fundada en 1993 por una productora llamada Summerfest Productions, Reggae Sumfest fue una reacción al hecho de que Reggae Sunsplash ya no iba a ser y aunque ese legendario festival fue resucitado en 2006, Sumfest continúa.

Sus organizadores pretendían que Reggae Sumfest fuera un testamento indeleble de Jamaica en la música en géneros internacionales como R & B, hip-hop, ska y también reggaeton. Hoy en día, el evento no tiene ningún problema para atraer artistas de élite y decenas de miles de asistentes de todo el mundo.

Sumfest se presenta como el mayor espectáculo de reggae en la tierra, y eso es difícil de discutir. Es realmente conocido como el festival de reggae de estreno mundial, y no duele que suceda justo en el hogar del género.

De acuerdo con su facturación como un festival sin fronteras, el lanzamiento de Reggae Sumfest es un asunto ampliamente difundido. Cada año, los organizadores hacen eventos de lanzamiento en Kingston, Montego Bay, Nueva York y Miami.

Mientras que su línea de reggae es extensa, Sumfest también ofrece un género de la ramificación conocido como ”salón de baile”

Otras dos noches son actos internacionales, que pueden no ser estrictamente reggae sino que sirven como ”una celebración de todas las formas musicales que ha influido esta cultura”.

A lo largo de los años, los grandes nombres que han hecho parte del Sumfest se han incluido artistas como Beyonce, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Usher, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T-Pain, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Lionel Richie, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent, y Akon. Las entradas para estos días del festival tienden a ser más caras.

Mientras que los headliners de las noches internacionales pueden ser los actos más populares con el atractivo más amplio, la noche de dancehall del festival es más única, además, es un espectáculo que no debe perderse, es como un plus, y que también es mucho menos caro que las otras noches.

Prepárate para estar despierto toda la noche: No es raro que las multitudes de Sumfest se balanceen y canten desde el atardecer hasta el amanecer.

Independientemente de qué hora del día es, simplemente déjese relajar y abrazar el espíritu de reggae porque muchos descubrirán algo nuevo.

Echa un vistazo al cartel de artistas del Reggae Sumfest 2017

Artistas de la primera noche


Artistas que estarán en la segunda noche


Publicado por: @elsantiagudelo

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