Tag: reggae

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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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Hermine Shaw serving up good food at Sumfest

July 10, 2018
Hermine Shaw

Reggae Sumfest is much more than just the entertainment and limelight for many people like Hermine Shaw of St James.

Shaw will tell you that the food is also equally one of the biggest highlights of the ‘Greatest Reggae Show on Earth’.

For the past 26 years, Shaw has been at the helm of homestyle cooking on the main nights of the summer festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

Her food stall, branded under the household name ‘Hermine Homestyle’, is a godsend for the thousands of local and international patrons who come out each year looking to chow down on Jamaican mouthwatering dishes.

“My cooking is homestyle, and I do everything like rice and peas, brown stew, curry stew peas, oxtail, ackee and salt fish, salt mackerel, soup, shrimp, conch, and more,” Shaw told the WESTERN STAR.

“People look forward to me every year because they know my stall and know that I cook nothing but good and tasty food. I have people from Canada that come every year for them oxtail,” she added.

Shaw explained that last year’s staging was one of the best as she had more customers than she was able to provide service for.

A second stall

No doubt that she is now looking forward to the upcoming staging, and she has brought in her son in to operate a second stall.

“I came to Reggae Sumfest off of Sunsplash, and over the years until now, I have always lived good with the promoters. I work with their system and do my business, and I was able to put both my daughter and son through school and college, assist my grandchildren …,” said Shaw, who is also a taxi operator.

“So Reggae Sumfest did a lot for me. It keeps me alive,

motivates me, and I plan for it every year. I appreciate the promoters, and I thank them very much. I thank them a lot for what they have done for me and what I do for myself,” she added.

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Grace and Red Stripe partner in tasting party

As the iconic Reggae Sumfest prepares for it’s 27th staging, it will be introducing a new layout and more activities for patrons between sets.

This includes a food court by Grace Foods. The brand partnered with long time sponsor Red Stripe to present an exclusive tasting party on Sunday as a preview for the festival.

Guests were greeted to a well-decorated venue, music and food, food and more food as the company crafted a variety of pasta dishes, wings, steamed fish and more to wet the appetites of veteran Sumfest-goers. The food was complemented by a fully loaded Red Stripe bar stocked with beers and an assortment of Grace lifestylee drinks.

Red Stripe will once again be a presenting sponsor for Reggae Sumfest, which will take place in Montego Bay from Sunday, July 15th to Saturday, July 21st.

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WHAT IS REGGAE SUMFEST

It is no doubt that Jamaica has made a huge impact on the world through their distinguished reggae music— and Reggae Sumfest has definitely had much to do with this influence. As the premier reggae festival on the planet and the biggest party in Jamaica, Reggae Sumfest is an entire week of head bobbin´, drum beatin´, hip-swayin´ fun.

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July 3, 2018 

Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year

All-star Lineup to Perform at Reggae Sumfest, July 15 – 22

 KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s iconic music festival Reggae Sumfest has been expanded to eight days this year, according to Downsound Entertainment, festival owners since 2016. Thousands of reggae and dancehall fans from across the world will be descending on the island to attend the 26th staging of the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth,” from July 15 – 22 in Montego Bay.

This year’s festival has attracted some of the genre’s biggest names, including Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Beres Hammond, Capleton, Bounty Killer, I-Octane, Spice and Raging Fyah.

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year with Beres Hammond Performing

Beres Hammond

Damian Marley to perform at Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest

Damian Marley

Patrons are in for an extra treat this year as for the first time, a Latin flavor has been added with Mexican reggae artist Jah Fabio set to perform on Friday night.

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year with Jah Fabio

Jah Fabio

“Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music, and this world class festival, Reggae Sumfest, affords music lovers an opportunity to enjoy some of their favorite artists in a great setting,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Summer is an exciting time to visit Jamaica and this event is one of the many activities visitors can enjoy as they immerse themselves in our culture, interact with our people and experience our scrumptious cuisine.”

Reggae Sumfest Activities
  • Sumfest Colorfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 15
  • Sumfest Street Jam on Monday, July 16
  • Sumfest All White Party on Tuesday, July 17
  • Sumfest Blitz on Wednesday, July 18
  • Sumfest Inspire Awards & Heavyweight Clash on Thursday, July 19
  • Reggae Industry Symposium & Sumfest Dancehall Night on Friday, July 20
  • Sumfest Reggae Night on Saturday, July 21
  • Sumfest Morning Medz on Sunday, July 22
Reggae Sumfest Hotel Packages

With the festival dates fast approaching, hotels are filling up quickly with many already sold out.

Hotel partner and Platinum Sponsor Iberostar Hotels & Resort, the all-inclusive luxury five-star property is offering the following Reggae Sumfest packages for July 20 – 22:

Hotel Single (per person/per night) Double (per person/per night)
Iberostar Beach               US$210                US$170
Iberostar Suites               US$256                US$196
Iberostar Grand               US$329                US$249

Other partners offering special Reggae Sumfest packages include: Deja All-Inclusive Resort, Grand Palladium Jamaica & Lady Hamilton Resorts & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Sandals Resorts, Sea Gardens Beach Resort and The Wexford Hotel.

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New strategy for Reggae Sumfest

BY BALFORD HENRY  July 04, 2018

Twenty-three Jamaican-owned businesses will be showcasing authentic local products as the promoters of the annual event have decided to open up the facilities to them this year.

Chairman and CEO of promoters DownSound Entertainment Joe Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he thinks it is time to allow Jamaica’s small business sector to benefit from the opportunities for their growth and development created by the event.

“This initiative gives small businesses in Jamaica a platform to exhibit their products and work while promoting Brand Jamaica,” the entrepreneur said.

“This new addition to the festival will help to develop the tourism sector and is also beneficial to the overall economy. We look forward to continuing and expanding this project in the years to come,” he added.

Since acquiring the event from former owners Summerfest Productions, in April 2016, Bogdanovich has been promoting the idea that it is the country’s responsibility to develop and protect its cutural brand.

He promised major changes for the Sumfest brand in its first two years under his administration which would help to make the industry thrive. He said then that 2016 will be the transitional year, in which DownSound will be working closely with Johnny Gourzong, Robert Russell and Tina Davis, who have developed the brand for 25 years.

“It is critical that the home of reggae music gets its house in order. The theme of unity through music is a key factor for success in the festival business. Artists must understand and work together as well as the sponsors and government agencies to accept the fact that reggae/dancehall is a natural resource of the country, and that it’s the responsibility of the country for it to be developed and protected,” he insisted.

In the past, the most important questions about Sumfest were those about the acts, their performances, and who took the respective nights; however, with the changes being introduced by Bogdanovich, it is clear that he aims to shift the attention to the sustainability of the Jamaican culture’s dominance across the Caribbean.

According to Bogdanovich, with the wide variety of products being offered — from Bresheh with their handcrafted backpacks, handbags and totes, to Live Charcoal portraits done by Jeffperry Art — there is something for everyone.

Reggae Sumfest will be held July 15-22 in Montego Bay — currently under enhanced security measures slated to last until August 2 — and Bogdanovich remains confident that this year’s event will be an improvement on last year’s very successful 25th anniversary presentation.

Jamaica’s premier reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest is a week of parties and performances from some of the top names in reggae and dancehall.

Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Spice, Stonebwoy from Ghana, Capleton, Cham, and Maxi Priest are all among the star-studded line-up.

The week also includes a conference examining the state of the reggae industry.

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More than Carnival:Caribbean events you don’t want to miss in July/Aug

Lauryn Hill will perform at this year's St Kitt's Music FestivalLauryn Hill will perform at this year’s St Kitt’s Music Festival

 

The July/August vacation is here. Known as summer in temperate countries, this is the time of year when people are travelling and looking for fun events to attend. In the Caribbean and the diaspora, this is the time of year when there is a slew of Carnivals from St Vincent to New York but in the region, there is so much more happening in addition to Carnival. So if Carnival is not really your cup of tea, here are seven major non-Carnival events you don’t want to miss.

1: St Kitts Music Festival, June 27 to July 1

This annual event will feature the likes of Soca songstress Destra Garcia, Kes the Band, Wayne Wonder, Sizzla Kalonji, Patti Labelle and Lauryn Hill.

2: Reggae Sumfest: July 15-22, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Jamaica’s premier reggae festival is a week of parties and performances from some of the top names in reggae and dancehall. Damian Jr Gong Marley, Aidonia, Bounty Killa, Spice, Stonebwoy from Ghana, Capleton, Cham and Maxi Priest are all among the star-studded lineup. The week also includes a conference examining the state of the reggae industry.

 

 

http://www.looptt.com/content/more-carnivalcaribbean-events-you-dont-want-miss-julyaug

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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.