Tag: ReggaeFestivals

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Grace Kitchens ‘Jerkin Tings’ Up At Reggae Sumfest

Published:Friday | July 27, 2018 | 

 Nadine Sterling, lover of good food and good music, found both at the Grace Kitchens Cafe at Reggae Sumfest 2018.

The Grace Kitchens Cafe jerked ‘tings’ up at the 2018 staging of Reggae Sumfest. The food court, officially sponsored by Grace Foods, brought the perfect mix of delicious food and positive vibes to the festival with their mouth-watering menu offerings at the Grace Kitchens Cafe.

The hardest decision was what to choose with a menu that offered something for everybody and included Grace Foil-roasted Jerk Fish, Grace Jerk BBQ ribs, Grace Jerk Chicken Pasta, Grace Sweet Corn on the Cob with Jerk Butter and for dessert, Grace Buttered Almond Bread Pudding served with caramel and crushed almonds.

Those who visited the Cafe on Dancehall night might have even run into Artiste and Grace Brand Ambassador Ding Dong, who stopped by with his Ravers crew to get enjoy the food and fun during the greatest reggae show on earth.

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Damian Marley had the Sumfest crowd hooked with lively performance

Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley had the Catherine Hall crowd hooked for just over one hour with a energetic performance at Reggae Sumfest on Sunday morning,

It was Marley at his best as he engaged the crowd constantly and had audience members lapping up every minute of his set which also saw him showing off his fitness with knee lifts as he celebrated his 40th birthday,

Numbering in the tens of thousands, the Catherine Hall crowd sang loudly to almost all of Junior Gong’s presentations that included samples from hits by his father, late reggae legend Bob Marley.

Marley’s son Elijah perfoms ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ in tribute to his father who turned 40 on Saturday.

Marley’s performance also included songs from his last album ‘Stony Hill’ which earlier this year beat an illustrious field to cop the Reggae Grammy. It was not limited though, with music from his previous works.

The audience was also treated to a touching moment when Marley’s son Elijah joined him on stage and sang Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’, dedicating the song to his father, whose birthday was on Saturday.

Marley had opened his set with ‘Here We Go’ from the Stony Hill album before going into his combination with Skrillex, ‘Make It Bun Dem’, ‘Set Up Shop’, ‘Ghetto Youth’ and another combination, ‘Beautiful’ with Bobby Brown.

Marley would then talk about the healing benefits of ganja before doing ‘Medication’, ‘The Mission’, ‘Police And Thief Inna Shoot’ and ‘Love And Unity’.

Kabaka Pyramid joined Junior Gong on stage.

His father’s ‘War’ and ‘Exodus’ would follow before ‘Everybody Wants To Be Somebody’ and ‘A Man Is Just A Man’ .

Kabaka Pyramid joined Marley on stage for their combination, ‘Kontraband’, after which ‘Junior Gong’ performed ‘Living It Up’, a song celebrating his father’s victory over poverty and inspiring others in similar circumstances to do the same.

He once again had the audience singing along to ‘Road To Zion’ and the ever-popular ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ with which he closed his well-received set.

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 JTB takes Reggae Sumfest to the world

The stream presented a curated feed live from Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, featuring main stage performances along with features, artiste and media interviews, all hosted live by popular television host Sakina Deer.

The JTB Live Stream is hosted on the Visit Jamaica Facebook page, which has over 940,000 followers around the globe, JTB said on Monday.

“This year we wanted to give our audience a taste of what the greatest reggae festival on earth is like in a virtual setting,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism. “We know that there are lots of folks who for whatever reason could not be in Montego Bay, so we are using this platform to showcase not just our music but the culture, fashion, food and signature vibe of the Reggae Sumfest.”

Featured on the stream were interviews with artistes like Argentinian reggae sensation Dread Mar I, D Major, Press Kay, Yanique the Curvy Diva, along with CEO of Downsound Entertainment Josef Bogdanovich.

AdvertisementJTB said the successful Facebook Live broadcast also continued for the second night of the show, capturing audiences around the world to witness the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.”

During the broadcast, JTB said Deer welcomed Reggae Sumfest performing artists J Boog, Keznamdi, Naomi Cowan and D’Yani to the JTB booth for exclusive interviews, giving viewers an exciting behind the scenes look at the festival featuring real-time updates from the performers themselves.

Other notable VIP guests included Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security and Mitch Watson, president of the United Nations Association of Jamaica and sprint phenom Briana Williams.

Local and international members of the media also joined the JTB to conduct interviews with artists, sponsors and event organizers.

These included Jamaica Gleaner’s Janet Silvera, Sean Kelly from Canadian radio station Mix 97 FM, and Reggae Sumfest Inspire Award-recipient Patricia Meschino from Billboard, JTB said.

Building on its success from the first night, JTB said its booth attracted hundreds of attendees on the closing night of the festival, and captivated audiences across Jamaica and major United States markets through its “dynamic, all-encompassing Facebook Live experience.”

Posted 12:00 am, July 24, 2018
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Twenty three years romance with Reggae Sumfest

July 20, 2018
Italian Steve Giant (left) poses with dancehall ace Shabba Ranks at a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest.

When Reggae Sunsplash folded in Montego Bay after its 1992 staging, Italian newspaper publisher Steve Giant, a loyal fan of that festival, was left a disappointed man, as making the annual trek to Jamaica had become an integral part of his life.

However, Giant’s disappointment was short-lived as in 1995, he learnt that Reggae Sumfest had replaced Reggae Sunsplash on the Montego Bay entertainment calendar and since then, he has been travelling to Jamaica for the past 23 years to satisfy his passion for reggae music and his growing love for Jamaica.

“My first Reggae Sumfest experience was in 1995. Basically, it’s been 23 years without interruption,” said Giant.

Over the years, it has not only been Reggae Sumfest that has been pulling the big Italian, who also manages a radio station, the Radio Base Popolare Network, which broadcasts reggae from morning to evening.

“I love the music, the parties, the beach… the Jamaican way of life style. That’s why I come back every year,” said Giant.

“Unfortunately, there’s no reggae festival like Reggae Sumfest in Italy … we had a big one, but they moved it to Spain.”

Despite not having a major reggae festival in Italy, Giant says reggae is nonetheless quite big in his homeland. He sees his popular magazine, RASTA SNOB, which he has been producing for more than 30 years, as one of the vehicles driving the growth of the music.

While each new year at Reggae Sumfest gives giant fresh “emotions, sensations, vibrations,” there are some special memories that have not dimmed over time.

“Definitely Shabba Ranks arriving by helicopter,” said Giant, in reflecting on Shabba’s spectacular arrival by helicopter at the venue back in the 1990s. “I also enjoy the clash in music between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and the many international artistes who have duet with the Jamaican top artistes.”

Like many fans of Reggae Sumfest, Giant is mightily impressive by this year’s star-studded line-up and has identified several acts he can’t wait to see.

“I am looking forward to seeing Damian Marley, Cham, Capleton, Sizzla, Assassin, Beres Hammond, Raging Fyah,” said Giant.

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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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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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