Tag: DownsoundEntertainment

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Minister Highlights Importance of Music Tourism

Photo: Garwin Davis

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett,

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.
  • Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.
  • “Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.

Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.

“Our music continues to set Jamaica apart from rival destinations,” the Minister pointed out.

“Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the Ministry is committed to fostering the continued development of the entertainment industry and its full integration into the tourism product, he is fully cognizant that there is still more to be done to maximize the potential of “this important” sub-sector.

“So, as we put in place the framework to further diversify our tourism product, we are well aware of the enormous benefits if we get this right,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“We have to give visitors more things to do when they come to our island. We have to tap into their passion points, and music is a great way to start. Simply put, we are placing a special focus on developing entertainment tourism as part of our growth strategy,” he noted.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the country’s goal of welcoming five million visitors annually remains on target, there is simply no room for complacency.

He said that as good as the current offerings may be, stakeholders should always be looking to innovate and focus on growing earnings per visitor and retaining more of those earnings in Jamaica.
“It goes without saying that entertainment is an area in which we are world beaters,” the Minister further added.

“Therefore we are taking the necessary steps to capitalize on the tremendous potential Jamaica has in this area to significantly boost our arrivals and tourism earnings,” he said.

The Minister commended the Head of the Ministry’s Sports and Entertainment Network, Entertainment Consultant and Promoter, Kamal Bankay, noting that “he is doing an excellent job leading this initiative.”

“This is being done in collaboration with my colleague, Hon. Olivia Grange and her team from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“We will also be leveraging February’s Reggae Month to appeal to visitors. In addition, the month marks the birthdays of Jamaica’s most recognizable musicians, the King of Reggae Bob Marley and the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, both great selling points,” the Minister said.

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Festival X Strengthening Partnerships With Festival Promoters – Seminar Endorses Healthy Collaborations Among Local Festivals

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2018 | Stephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
From left: Coleen Douglas, Joe Bogdanovich, Scott Dunn, Justine Henzell and Tony Rebel during the ‘Going Global’ panel discussion for the Festival X seminar and workship.

What does Jamaica celebrate? Reggae music, dance and dancehall, visuals arts, literature, food – just to name a few themes of festivals held on the island.

Besides being fun and entertaining, well-managed festivals and events offer a host of social and economic benefits to the communities in which they are staged.

“People should want Jamaica to become a festival country that offers the customers or visitors packages for ‘X’ things that are happening, not just settle to be known as a creative city or having active communities,” Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, expert on enterprise development and country director at The British Council, told The Gleaner during the recent Festival X seminar and workshop.

The British Council partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission for the recent inaugural staging of Festival X and invited a long list of local industry professionals to participate in a panel discussion. Among the ‘Going Global’ panellists were CEO of Downsound Entertainment Joe Bogdanovich; Dream Entertain-ment director Scott Dunn; Justine Henzell of the Calabash International Literary Arts Festival; and Patrick ‘Tony Rebel’ Barrett, recording artiste and founder of Rebel Salute.

Room To Collaborate

 

Each spoke of the impact their events have had on community tourism as well as on promoting Jamaica on a global scale. When The Gleaner asked about the possibility of a collaboration between the four of them, Dunn quickly took to the microphone and said, “While it may be a bit extreme to have a festival collaboration that features aspects of all their events, there is more room to collaborate on festivals with different layers.”

Tony Rebel added, “The idea of ‘Dream-Bash-Fest-Salute’ (coined from the names of the events each of them hosts) is one that can be made a reality, but as far as details go, there has to be initiative for the promoters to knock heads.”

Festivals have long served as tools for sustainable competitiveness, but there were quite a few industry pro-fessionals present at the seminar who suggested a need for collaboration among various events. “For example, Joe’s event (Reggae Sumfest) is two weeks before our Dream Weekend, and there is a likely way to collaborate to make both events attractive to the other’s audience,” said Dunn.

One social value of a festival – no matter the form, whether stage show, symposium, or weeklong line-up of themed events – is the creation of stronger relationships within a community although the panellists stressed that most of the relationship-building occured in the festival planning phase – another point where collaboration would be beneficial.

According to Jacobs-Bonnick, these benefits last well beyond the event as people bring their connections, skills, and a collective knowledge to improve the community and further advance the country’s global image.

“The immediate and deliberate response is that competition is good, it is healthy, but all these festival owners, planners, and promoters can come around a table for the greater good,” she said. “It is a win-win situation. That is the aim of the seminar: to enable all professionals to see the importance of coming together.”

The plan going forward is to host Festival X annually and invite persons not only from the island, but from overseas, to add their two cents, which would eventually encourage collaboration and be a platform for information and cultural exchange.

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Sumfest week builds to big stage climax – Blitz party overseas acts have J’can roots

June 18, 2018
The Reggae Sumfest events leading up to the closing festival nights carry great weight for the production. This year’s annual festival begins with the Colourfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 15, leading into the hardcore street dance, sound clash and glamorous parties that open for the concert nights. One of the highly anticipated parties, The Blitz All-Black Party, which happens on the Wednesday night, features two international acts, VH1’s Safaree and chart-topping female rapper Stefflon Don. Both have Jamaican roots.                                                                                                                                   Safaree Samuels

According to Sumfest special events team member Dealo Gordon, the festival has operated on an agenda that is predicated on the phrase “Our music, our festival” and it is their intention to do so for many years to come. Since the removal of international night, the festival has embodied this phrase

“With the selection of Stefflon Don and Safaree to be part of the entertainment package, our aim was to not stray far from our purpose. Stefflon Don, being of Jamaican descent, and Safaree, with the same background, both avidly promote and boost the Jamaican culture on an international scene,” said Gordon.

Since the series of events stands as a precursor to build anticipation for the main stage at Catherine Hall on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, and give a taste of Jamaican culture in all areas, The Blitz All-Black Party was included in the line-up a few years ago to provide added flavour.

“We believe the greatest importance of this event is within its production. With the incorporation of a good balance of DJs, a scenic and relaxed ambience, performances, guest appearances, coupled with it being all-inclusive, we have high hopes that this event will be a big boost leading up to the festival nights,” Gordon said.

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR

Blitz was originally a celebratory party hosted for Downsound Entertainment CEO, Joe Bogdanovich, during the Christmas period, so Gordon says: “Last year’s staging cannot be compared to this year. The theme was completely different, all about the glitz and glam in previous years, then it was held overseas, carried back and added to the Sumfest line-up. Plus it was more of an old-school vibe last time.”

Local and international disc jockeys, Rolexx, Chromatic and Noah Powah, (who is known for his comedic artiste imitations) from New York also add to the diverse entertainment package that the event is offering. “The optimal goal is to attract everyone, to have persons from all facets attend and music that all crowds will enjoy. If we execute the pre-events properly and efficiently, our patrons will experience the full package, leading to continued support,” Gordon said.

Gordon says patrons will not be disappointed with the Blitz event as it adds a new dynamic, while still remaining in the circle of reggae and dancehall culture.

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The Man Behind Sumfest: Josef James Bogdanovich

Published:Sunday | June 17, 2018 | Latara Boodie
Josef Bogdanovich

Reggae Sumfest is synonymous with amazing vibe, great live entertainment and authentic Jamaican music that many have come from far and wide to witness. It’s that time of year again where our little island will host one of the largest reggae concerts in the Western Hemisphere; but before the excitement starts, let us get to know a few of the directors behind the concert.

Founder and CEO of Downsound Records, Josef James Bogdanovich is a music industry tycoon who wears many hats. He is a successful music producer, record label owner, film writer/producer and businessman who has contributed significantly to several noteworthy Jamaican artistes like Ninja Man, Jah Cure, Ishawna, Lukie D and Fantan Mojah. Outlook got an insight into the man behind the music, his interests and what it means to be a father.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music?

When it comes to hobbies, I think of time spent outside of the workplace. And outside of the workplace, I think in terms of health, energy and sound mind. Health is proper diet, and to understand the meaning of balance. Good health provides clean energy which, in turn, provides more joy in my day-to-day living experience. Sound mind provides clarity in analysis and how one interacts with people. There should be more balance and joy in our living.

What is your favorite song or artiste, and why?

Favourite songs for me come in an instant. What catches my fancy first. So it can change quickly. But right now, Steflon Don’s song “Heard You Got A New Girlfriend” is top pocket.

Today, more than ever, fans are quick with their feelings and opinions. Everybody is in the firm grip of Steve Jobs, who literally put the world at our fingertips through mobile phones, apps and social media. So we all are glued to our mobile devices. Our attention span is now abbreviated. We multitask. We flex like a hummingbird, moving quickly from one song to the next. Enjoy the nectar while it lasts.

Who would you want to see live in concert that you have not seen before (dead or alive) right now?

Bruno Mars and Cardi B.

When in a good mood, which song would you sing in the shower?

Good mood? That’s too personal.

What do you do to start your day?

I have breakfast with my son, drive him to school then go to the gym, then shower; coffee, then work all day into the night … every day until Sumfest is done.

What is your most prized

possession?

My relationships.

Outlook: What is your liquor of choice?

Red Stripe.

What are you looking forward to the most from this year’s Sumfest?

A festival experience that is on the level of the best globally. This means eight days and nights of diversified entertainment, innovative productions and service. Something to go home with, that shows how unique and wonderful Jamaica really is. The Sumfest experience.

Do you have any pet peeves?

I do not retain pet peeves. Only pets.

What is your philosophy or saying that you live by?

Live clean, think clean and contribute something good to mankind. Love your family and your neighbours.

Father’s Day Bonus:

Number of children.

Boy and girl.

What do you enjoy the most about being a father?

I enjoy experiencing and participating in my children’s growth. Sharing their uncanny experiences makes me very happy.

Top lessons you have learnt from being a dad.

Spend time with your children. Understand how much value it brings to both your child and to yourself.

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Mystery P gets ‘big buss’ from talent show

June 15, 2018
Contributed Mystery P uses her powerful voice to win the Red Stripe Big Buss competition.

Loud cheers and high energy filled the atmosphere at the iconic Montego Bay hotspot, Pier 1, recently as the first female winner emerged from Red Stripe’s talent search competition, Big Buss. Pamella Smith, aka Mystery P, was among 20 contestants who vied for the top spot, battling for the privilege to open Reggae Sumfest next month.

Contestants were each given two minutes to showcase their singjay ability in front of a panel of judges, which comprised record producer Mikey Bennett, media practitioner Garth Williams and DJ Jigga.

Contestants Migeal James, Aneika Brown, Miguel Irving and Conroy Brown joined eventual winner Mystery P in the final segment of the competition. However, in a twist of fate, two wild-card contestants, Odonald Haughton and Answele Riley, were given a second chance for the final showdown after technical difficulties affected their performance in round one.

In the end, it was her strong voice and commanding stage presence that won it for Mystery P.

Mystery P became the first female Big Buss winner and walked away with the $100,000 cash prize. In addition to performing on the Reggae Sumfest stage, she will get mentorship from Mikey Bennett and a six-month management contract with Downsound Entertainment Group, as well as a scholarship for artiste development programme through Red Stripe’s Learning for Life programme.

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When it comes to Jamaica, reggae and Red Stripe go hand in hand.

To continue to bring a taste of Jamaica to more and more people beyond the island and to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Jamaican brewer Desnoes Geddes Limited (D&G), Red Stripe has teamed up with LA based Jamaican musician & producer Paul “Pablo” Stennett and a number of Jamaican artists to create original singles representing the evolution of Jamaican music throughout the years.

Red Stripe officially debuted the first single from the album with a live performance from reggae artist Christopher Martin at this Saturday’s, “Wayup Stayup” block party @ Wynwood Artwalk, an event marking the official countdown to the premier festival of Jamaican music, Reggae Sumfest to be hosted in Montego Bay next month.

The track, which will serve as the unofficial Red Stripe anthem,

features follow along choreography also debuted during the live performance on Saturday. The full album including Christopher Martin’s track will be available for download later this month – a portion of proceeds will go to the “We are Tomorrow Foundation,” an organization developed to help inner-city youth explore and nurture their musical talents. Track previews, updates and more details about the album will be available on www.redstripebeer.com

Photos courtesy of Redstripe

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Launch Events Countdown to Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Next Month

Launch Events Countdown to Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest Next Month

Launch Events Countdown to Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Next Month

The momentum leading up to Reggae Sumfest, dubbed “reggae nirvana” (New York Times) and “quite simply the be-all and end-all of reggae festivals” (Forbes), builds with anticipation before its 8-day takeover in Montego Bay next month (July 15-22).

Following NYC’s Reggae Sumfest launch party in April, events in Kingston (May 30) at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records and Montego Bay (May 18) at the Iberostar Suites transpired to gear up for the festivities. This Sat. June 9, Red Stripe Presents Reggae Sumfest will take over Miami’s Wynwood Artwalk for the official countdown to the festival. The launch will feature live DJ sets and a performance by Jamaican singer Christopher Martin, who has performed on the Reggae Sumfest stage multiple times.

At the Kingston launch event last week, which featured performances by Bounty Killerand Capleton, Chairman and CEO of Downsound Entertainment (DSE) and Owner of Reggae Sumfest Joe Bogdanovich highlighted the festival’s growth. According to Bogdanovich, who acquired the brand in 2016, “Our streaming attendance [which was introduced in 2016] transformed Reggae Sumfest into a truly international festival with a live fan attendance of close to a million. In our aftermath, over 10 million have watched online and the numbers are increasing daily. This says a lot for the concept ‘Our Music, Our Festival.’ This year’s lineup is simply awesome. We have expanded the festival to eight days with seven preview and post events and two weekend live stage shows. 2018 looks promising. ”

In addition to the title sponsor Red Stripe, MasterCard, NCB, JetBlue Airlines, and Grace Kennedy are new sponsors this year with JetBlue as the presenting partner for the live stream.

Reggae Sumfest 2018 marks 26 years of stellar Jamaican entertainment. The year’s annual affair begins with a variety of pre-parties including the Colourfest Beach Party on Sun. July 15, Sumfest Street Dance on Mon. July 16, All-White Party on Tues. July 17, The Blitz All Black Party on Wed. July 18 featuring Stefflon Don and Safaree and Sumfest Presents Irish & Chin World Clash 20th Anniversary on Thurs. July 19. The festival’s two main concert nights take place at the historic Catherine Hall venue on Fri. July 20 and Sat. July 21 featuring live performances from Popcaan, Sizzla, Aidonia, Sasco, Masicka, Spice, Beres Hammond, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Maxi Priest and many more. Patrons can access updates on the line-up, tickets and events on the official website: www.reggaesumfest.com.

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International interest in Sumfest

Reggae Sumfest partners with Mastercard and JetBlue for new benefits to patrons

BY BALFORD HENRY
Friday, June 08, 2018

Reggae Sumfest boss Joe Bogdanovich, chairman and CEO of Downsound Entertainment (DSE), producers of the iconic Jamaican music festival, has landed a partnership with global payments giant Mastercard.

“The initiative with Mastercard is one which will see us taking the first step towards a cashless festival,” Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer.

“Mastercard is a leading global payments and technology company and with its ongoing help, we will continue to take Reggae Sumfest into the technological age,” he added.

This is the second partnership agreement with an international company announced by Bogdanovich since the recent launch of the festival, scheduled for July 15-21 this year at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.

Last week, he announced that North American carrier JetBlue Airways had been confirmed as one of the premium sponsors of Reggae Sumfest 2018.

According to Bogdanovich, DSE, which acquired the Sumfest Brand in 2016, welcomed the addition of JetBlue to the raft of sponsors.

“The fact that JetBlue, an overseas-based company, recognises the value of the Reggae Sumfest brand on the global scene, clearly demonstrates its growth in influence and importance over its history,” he said.

“Jamaican music, since the 1960s, with the emergence of icons such as Bob Marley, Toots Hibbert, and Jimmy Cliff, has not only captured the imagination of numerous people across the globe but has been integral to the mushrooming of Brand Jamaica. Reggae Sumfest is, perhaps, the most influential vehicle to leverage and sustain Brand Jamaica and further promote the island and its music,” he noted.

Sepp Donahower, director, global marketing for DSE, pointed out that JetBlue is the official and exclusive airline partner for Reggae Sumfest 2018, and would be the presenting sponsor for the live stream of the festival on all DSE platforms.

Since the acquisition of Reggae Sumfest, DSE has been engaged in bringing world-class high production live streaming and video content of the festival to the world on multiple platforms.

In 2017, Reggae Sumfest’s live stream and uploaded videos recorded more than 1,250,000 views. This year, it is expected to continue this explosive streaming and viewing growth, which brought JetBlue in as a presenting partner for the stream.

Fans will be able to access the live stream through the live streaming page on the festival website reggaesumfest.com, even though, as Bogdanovich pointed out, “there is nothing that can replace the energy and excitement of being at Catherine Hall live”.

JetBlue is New York’s hometown airline and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. The airline carries more than 40 million passengers a year to 102 cities in the US, Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights.

“We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve in the past two years. We built on the firm foundation laid by the Summerfest team, and it is our intention to grow the festival further. In keeping with that objective, we are offering patrons more and more each year,” Bogdanovich said.

“The use of credit, debit, and prepaid cards and other types of cashless payment options provide a safer and more convenient way for people to shop, and we are pleased to be able to introduce some of these options for Reggae Sumfest,” he said.

“While this year we are offering the more traditional payment options, we look forward to working with Mastercard, which we hope to be our long-term partner, to introduce many more innovative technological solutions to Reggae Sumfest in the years to come,” he stated.

Uhriel Bedoya, Mastercard country manager, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda, and Haiti, said his company was very excited to partner with Sumfest and to expand the benefits of electronic payments to patrons.

“With extensive experience in supporting the growth of payments, Mastercard is uniquely positioned to provide the platform that can propel Sumfest along increasingly ambitious growth paths,” he added.

He said that one of the major thrusts for Mastercard’s relationship with the festival this year is to offer a 20 per cent discount on tickets for the main festival, on July 20 and 21, when customers pay with a Mastercard branded prepaid or credit card. Additionally, with the Mastercard Fast Lane Entry to the event, Mastercard cardholders can skip the general admission line.

What is more, when concertgoers purchase their tickets with their Mastercard, they will gain entry to an exclusive Mastercard parking area. If the parking reaches maximum capacity, the Mastercard card will give you access to the Mastercard shuttle service.

This year Sumfest will also be introducing another new element into the mix — the Sumfest Mall, which will showcase a variety of authentic Jamaican products for sale.

Marcia McDonnough, Sumfest marketing consultant, said that the producers are very excited about the Sumfest Mall, as it will further enhance the festival experience by offering up to 24 curio shops with a delightful array of fascinating objects of art, craft, jewellery, clothing, leisure products and souvenirs that will serve as mementoes of patrons’ visit to Reggae Sumfest.

“We have carefully selected our merchants to make sure we present top-class items which for the most part are original works and also Jamaican-made. The relationship with Mastercard and the focus on ensuring that we have the equipment that will accept credit and debit cards all across the venue will make it easy for patrons to ensure they leave the festival with something special,” she noted.