Tag: DownsoundEntertainment

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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.

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Vendors welcome cashless Sumfest

June 06, 2018
Dorrette Watson, owner of D’Nex Step Sandals and Accessories showing off her creations at Reggae Sumfest launch held yesterday at Downsound Records on Belmont Road.
Local entrepreneurs who will be selling items at this year’s Reggae Sumfest are praising organisers of the festival on their decision to go cashless.

The announcement was made at the headquarters of Downsound Entertainment yesterday.

Sumfest will partner with Mastercard to give patrons a safer, more efficient way to purchase items come July 15 to 22.

With the Sumfest team introducing a ‘mall’ concept this year, in terms of the set-up for vendors, the cashless system will maximise the consumer’s shopping experience at Catherine Hall.

“We’ve always had vendors at the festival but the way we are presenting them this year is a bit different. We will be making sure we have those credit card machines all over the venue, anywhere you will need to make a purchase, if it’s drinks, more tickets at the venue, the food court or the mall,” said Marcia McDonnough, marketing consultant for the festival.

Present at the media briefing, disclosing the details of the partnership with a few of the vendors who will be stationed at this year’s mall.

Pointing out that not only is the cashless option safer for patrons, a few of the vendors highlighted that the move may maximise their earning potential.

Randy McLaren, managing director of Bresheh Enterprises, that sells locally made knapsacks, totes, laptop sleeves and pencil pouches, applauded the Sumfest organisers on the Mastercard deal.

“Going cashless makes sense because I don’t think a lot of people necessarily want to walk with a lot of cash, and when you come to a festival like Reggae Sumfest, there is so much more to do than just watch the show. There are a lot of vendors selling stuff and people will pass through, like something, and don’t have the money just because they didn’t want to walk with a lot of cash,” he said. “This will be my first year selling at the festival but I’m looking forward to some good sales with the card system in place.”

Dorrette Watson, owner of D’Nex Step Sandals and Accessories, also welcomed the idea.

“I know for a fact that when people come to these festivals and they stop by the stalls they will see something they like. Many of them will want to buy but not have the cash. With the card, you can get what you want on the spot,” she said.

For potential patrons without a Mastercard, Uhriel Bedoya, Mastercard country manager, encouraged patrons to get one before making the trek to Montego Bay.

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Sumfest Goes Cashless – 20% Off Tickets For Mastercard Users While Supplies Last

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2018 | Shereita Grizzle/Gleaner Writer

Marketing consultant for Reggae Sumfest, Marcia McDonnough (left), Joe Bogdanovick of Downsound Entertainment (second left), Robert Russell of Reggae Sumfest (second right) and Uhriel Bedoya, Mastercard Country Manager for Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Bermuda, at Downsound’s Belmont Road, New Kingtston, offices yesterday.

For the first time in the festival’s 26-year history, Reggae Sumfest will be going cashless. The announcement was made yesterday morning at Downsound Entertainment’s headquarters on Belmont Road, New Kingston. Sumfest has partnered with global payments giant Mastercard, so come July 15-22, patrons will be able to make purchases at all the different facilities set up at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.

The Sumfest team explained that with the global technological environment experiencing continued expansion, it is only fitting that a world-renowned festival get with the times. “My mission is to continue to push the envelope in terms of technology, as we’ve done with our live streaming and now the partnership with Mastercard to enter a cashless environment, which is where the world is and where the rest of the world is catching up to,” said Downsound’s Joe Bogdanovich. “For me, in order for us to continue the growth of Reggae Sumfest and compete with the best festivals in the world, we need international sponsors, and it’s great that Mastercard has jumped on board.”

In their official press release about the partnership, Bogdanovich expressed a desire to work with the Mastercard team on a long-term basis. Yesterday, Uhriel Bedoya, Mastercard country manager for Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Bermuda, said “Partnering with Sumfest is tremendous, because we meant it when we said we are committed to Jamaica as a market. Our partnership with Sumfest is just the beginning, so stay tuned. We don’t make commitments on one-year basis or short term, we are looking to make longer-term commitments, so this is a way to start our Jamaican journey. For us, Sumfest is about the experience, and we want to make sure the attendees at Sumfest have a seamless experience from the moment they acquire their tickets.” While supplies last, Sumfest tickets purchased with a Mastercard at any of the outlets will see the buyer obtain a 20 per cent discount.

SAFETY CONCERNS

Safety also played a role in Sumfest’s decision to go cashless. Not keen on speaking too much on the crime situation and the state of emergency – or enhanced security measures – currently on in St James, the Sumfest organisers explained that cashless is a way they can help to ensure patrons have a safe experience. “We know how it is sometimes; you don’t want the security risk of having a lot of cash on you. We are working with the cashless environment, so you don’t have to walk with cash at all. We are also doing it so that if you don’t have enough cash, you have your card,” explained marketing consultant for Reggae Sumfest, Marcia McDonnough.

She also revealed that with the introduction of a Sumfest Mall, this year, the shopping experience patrons are accustomed to will be maximised. “We’ve always had vendors at the festival, but this is the first year we will have them set up in a mall-like setting. The way we are presenting them this year is a bit different, and the major difference is that we will be accepting cards in these areas,” she said. “We will be making sure we have those credit card machines all over the venue, anywhere you will need to make a purchase, if it’s drinks, more tickets at the venue, the food court and the mall.”

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