Tag: ReggaeFestivals

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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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STAR of the Month: Shane O, the comeback kid
by Kimberley Small
June 01, 2018

Many will remember him as the high school student who blazed dancehall with his brilliant song, ‘Lightning Flash’. Lately, airwaves have been choked with the rotation of his recent hit, ‘Last Days’, as well as the follow-up banger, ‘Partner Draw’. For the month of June, stay tuned as THE STAR reintroduces Shane O, dancehall child star turned formidable dancehall artiste.

For years, the artiste said that he was out of the public eye, toiling behind the scenes of the local music industry, a fact he says is no one’s doing but his own. This year, Shane O has returned and appears to be ready to roll.

“Mi used to go a my bed a night time and seh, ‘bwoy! A when mi a get my chance fi go every weh like everybody?’ See it deh! Is a ting weh me always prepare for and a wait because mi know it did a go come back, enuh. Cyaa blame people. Yuh haffi just keep up yuh work,” he told THE WEEKEND STAR.

To answer how the public has been responding to his return, Shane O scrolled his phone’s gallery for a moment before pulling up a video clip of a recent performance. The clip showed Shane O performing Partner Draw, with the crowd yelling the song’s lyrics back at the deejay with enthusiasm.

“Yuh see the crowd? If yuh nah work, dem a go walk past yuh. So anytime when yuh get a chance, yuh just haffi try keep up. Mi just a gwaan put out song. If it nah work, mi a work. Yuh just haffi work with the crowd. Wah me a go do? Mi a just do weh mi haffi do. When you keep up, them will always link yuh. If yuh nah work, who a go link yuh?” he said.

“Yuh haffi be a Bounty Killer or a Beenie Man weh constantly have song even if a nuh hit song. Yuh constantly have song weh inna some kinda rotation,” echoed his manager, Heavy D.

Shane O’s return to the dancehall arena will be marked by a performance on the coveted Reggae Sumfest stage this year. The comeback kid has already been making the rounds, and by all appearances, his fans are as excited as he is about the renewed vitality of his career.

As for how it feels for Shane O to be rocking stages again?

“Bwoy, it feel good, man. Mi just a bounce all bout and gi’ dem a style! A great feeling! A great feeling dat, man, see dem a sing out word for word,” the artiste exclaimed.

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All-Jamaican Format And Repeat Acts – Familiar Faces A Paying Audience’s Guarantee

Published:Saturday | June 2, 2018 | Mel Cooke/Gleaner Writer

Sanchez

In yesterday’s Gleaner publication, Downsound Records’ Josef Bogdanovich said that going all-Jamaican with Reggae Sumfest has not hurt the company financially, although he noted that Jamaican acts were not cheap to hire. I enthusiastically applauded the move to axe the international (overwhelmingly American R&B and hip-hop acts) from the summer event and pointed out that with the development, Sumfest draws closer to the successful Rebel Salute model.

However, this also means that both festivals have ended up in the same position: having a high number of repeat acts. This is almost a given on Sumfest’s Dancehall Night as there are precious few headliners, so Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sizzla and Spice are among those who have been – and will continue to be – in the mix

For this year’s Sumfest, the organisers are heavily touting Maxi Priest (who is not a regular face on stage in Jamaica); Beres Hammond (who was honoured by Sumfest in 2011 when he returned from a three-year hiatus); and Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley (who performed in 2009, 2012, and 2013).

The gaps between most recent performances and this year take them out of the immediate repeat category as happened with Sanchez with back-to-back showings in the first two years of Sumfest’s all-Jamaican format. Not that people minded as he put on a sterling show each time, the first after an extended absence from the big stage in Jamaica.

Understand Realities

Much can be muttered about repeat performers, but there are some realities that must be understood. Putting on an outdoor event, much less one of the magnitude of Sumfest, is an inherently very risky venture. It can rain; there may be a flare-up of violence along one of the main routes to the venue (or a big accident that causes a traffic snarl); a headline performer may get diarrhoea; two crews may get into a bottle-throwing match inside the grounds and there’s a stampede.

Those are things that can happen in the day. What the organisers can determine is the pulling power of their line-up, and that means going for the familiar. As good as the idea of breaking young talent is – and there is a section for that – check how many of those performers go on to be top draws : very, very few.

Plus, it takes lots of time for a guaranteed pulling card to be developed, not only in terms of the individual’s proficiency, but also the growth of a paying audience, which may have bonded with the performer when they were still checking Mommy for lunch money.

So those who take no risks with their concert-staging money, or hard-earned cash to go to a ‘stage show’, can quibble. Those who put their money where their music is need a guarantee, and the familiar faces are it (although there are many times I really wish it was not so).

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 Kingston Launch of Reggae Sumfest, May 30, 2018

  

    

 

Transcript of Speech Given by Josef Bogdanovich 

Good evening. Welcome.

The  Honourable Olivia Grange, His Worship The Mayor  Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen….

DSE became an owner of Reggae Sumfest officially in May, 2016  a little over two years ago.

Local audience attendance in our first year increased substantially from the previous year. We also introduced our Live Stream that connected fans globally opening our gates to hundreds of thousands.

2017 local attendance increased significantly with fans on Dancehall Night remaining well into daybreak to near capacity. This was a sight witnessing the power of Peace & Love and has been etched in many fans memory, perhaps forever.

Our streaming attendance transformed Reggae Sumfest into a truly

international festival with an international live fan attendance close to a million and in our aftermath literally 10’s of millions watching on line and increasing daily. This says a lot for the concept “Our Music, Our Festival”.

2018 looks to be even more promising. This year’s line up is simply awesome. We have expanded the festival to 8 days with 7 preview and post events and 2 weekend live stage shows.

 

Last year we introduced the food court which was a hit and this year we are introducing the Merchandise Mall featuring 18 local vendors with their goods.

 

We have also introduced a  daytime Symposium appealing to local folks who want to learn more about the industry and how to get involved.  This Symposium will also embrace ideas in support  of the intellectual cultural experience that many abroad thirst for. Reggae Sumfest – something for everyone. I also want to recognise the addition of three new sponsors Master Card, Jet Blue, NCB and Grace.

 

And now for the reality that I’m sure is on peoples minds. The state of emergency order that began in January of this year and has been continued to August 2nd has returned peace and tranquility to Montego Bay.  Over the months I think it’s now safe to say that a wave of fresh air has returned to Montego Bay where people feel safe and the smile of optimism can be seen on many faces. I have been told that tourism numbers continue to increase and from the looks of things July will be another bumper month for the city, the festival and the country. I and other team members are in discussion with the police and the government and I believe we all recognise the positive energy that Reggae Sumfest brings to the people of Montego Bay and to the country. I’m confident that the government will do the right thing and I’m confident that the people will do the right thing. Let’s celebrate together, Our Music, Our festival – Reggae Sumfest.  Thank you.

 

Remarks by the Minister of Culture, Gender,
Entertainment and Sport
the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP
at Launch of Reggae Sumfest 2018
Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Record
30 May 2018
Salutations

I think that all who have shared in the Reggae Sumfest experience over the last 25 years will agree that the promoters have got it just right.

This is indeed the greatest Reggae festival on earth.

I am proud to see the continuation over the years and the value that Reggae Sumfest has brought and continues to bring to Jamaica’s music industry.

Before Reggae Sumfest, there was Reggae Sunsplash and I want to pay tribute to those who gave of their time and effort to make it a reality.  That event gave birth to a large number of festivals around the world including Rottotom Sunsplash, Reggae on the River and numerous others across all continents.

So it is time again to experience “Our Music” right here at home. Reggae Sumfest 2018 in Montego Bay!

I have so many fond memories of this festival since its beginning in 1993.  I applaud the work of the production teams past and present and I commend the vision of Joe Bogdanovich.  He has moved Reggae Sumfest further into the technological sphere while keeping it authentically Jamaican.

Personally, I am looking forward to the “World Sound Clash” event on Thursday, July 19 featuring Tony Matterhorn, Mighty Crown, Pink Panther and Ricky Trooper.

The Street Dance on Monday, July 16 on the Hip Street also taps into our authentic Jamaican culture which so many visitors crave and travel to experience each year.

The Breakfast Party fits into an evolving 24-hour party vibe that is becoming quite popular in our entertainment landscape.

The best artistes in Reggae and dancehall will be on show come July 21 and 22.  Based on the line-up, this may be one of the best years of Reggae Sumfest.

This evening, I also want to speak to you a little about the importance of sustaining festivals such as Reggae Sumfest that highlight Jamaican music and culture.  We know for a fact that worldwide it is the Culture and Creative Industries that are leading the growth of the economies of many countries.

In addition, within the creative industries, it is the festivals, and what is now dubbed “the Festival Economy” that are providing economic sustainability across the world.

I am determined that our festivals, particularly our music festivals, will play a significant role in building the economy.  So many people benefit from our music festivals — from the big executives, to event planners, to production teams, to artistes and performers, to vendors, to the peanut man, to the dressmakers, to taxi operators.

There is space for everyone to earn in the festival economy.

On June 13, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will partner with the British Council and the JCDC to host an all-day seminar and workshop called “Festival X”, to equip our festival organisers with the information, technical support and seed funding to ensure that we “up di ting” in professionalism and creating unforgettable experiences.

In applauding the Reggae Sumfest Team, I wish to pay tribute to Robert Russell for his commitment to Reggae Sumfest, working along with Joe who has put his money were his mouth is.

My Ministry is working to unearth and develop creative talent and business capacity towards building the festival economy and delivering prosperity to our people.

 

Congratulations again and I anticipate another wonderful staging of the greatest Reggae show on earth — Our Music, Our Festival.

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Capleton to close Sumfest reggae night

June 01, 2018
Capleton in full flight on stage.

Capleton the Fireman will be closing night two, popularly called Reggae Night, of this year’s renewal of Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest.

“Capleton always delivers, so it doesn’t matter if he’s on Dancehall Night or Reggae Night. He blazes the stage whenever he touches it,” Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of Sumfest, said.

“He’s been one of those performers over the years that gets better each time. He’s a guy that has fire in his heart, fire in his soul, and he lights things up, so we’re looking forward to what he has to offer this year. Reggae Night is going to be something special, and people are going to see that we didn’t need international acts to come here and excite and pull a crowd because we have top-notch international acts right here at home,” Bogdanovich added.

Several top artistes have been billed to perform on night two of the festival. They include Beres Hammond, Jr Gong, Maxi Priest, Cham, J Bogg, Jesse Royal Jahdore, Fantan Mojah, Empress Ayeola and Raging Fyah.

Bogdanovich, who took over Sumfest in 2016, said his aim for the festival this year is to make Reggae Night as big as Dancehall Night.

“Every year, I think about how we can top the year before because growth is important for me. When we cut out International Nght, a lot of people were sceptical, but since then, Dancehall Night has grown to where we’ve seen record turnouts, and the aim now is to get the numbers up for Reggae Night as well,” he said.

MORE EXCITEMENT

“We have seen where Reggae Night has grown, but it’s not where we want it to be yet. Dancehall Nnight carries the most excitement of the two nights in terms of the buzz from people, and we want to get that excitement level up for Reggae Night as well.”

Bogdanovich said that this year’s line-up for Reggae Night was specifically designed to increase the excitement on the night.

“We have a very good line-up this year with a few surprises expected on Reggae Night, so we hope to top Dancehall Night this year. Jr Gong is going to be fabulous, and it will be his birthday, so expect something special from him. Beres always delivers, and Maxi Priest, too, is going to be phenomenal,” he said.

Meanwhile, there have been talks that dancehall’s leading lady, Spice, will be closing Dancehall Night this year. However, with just over a month to go until the greatest reggae show on earth takes over the city of Montego Bay, it is still unclear who the 2018 closer will be. “I can guarantee whoever that person is, they will perform to a packed venue because nobody will be leaving until the show ends, and trust me, they’re going to want to wait and see,” he said.

“We have artistes clamouring to close the show, so whoever that will be, they will be excited, and they will give it their best. It’s going to be a high-energy performance, and it will be worth it.”

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Reggae Sumfest 2018 launched in Kingston

Thursday, May 31, 2018

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Reggae Sumfest 26 was launched yesterday in an evening of flair involving impassioned speeches and captivating performances, all amidst an environment of high energy.

The event, which took place at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records, was emceed by the vibrant Miss Kitty who remarked about the importance of music and the role it plays in Jamaica’s culture today.

The main speaker for the night was the Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, who took a nostalgic trip down memory lane to the genesis of Reggae Sumfest

“This is indeed the greatest reggae festival on earth. I’m proud to see the continuation over the years and the value that it has brought and continues to bring to Jamaica. Before there was Reggae Sumfest there was Reggae Sunsplash and I want to pay tribute to those who gave of their time and effort to make it a reality,” she said.

Also speaking at the event was Josef Bogdanovich, CEO of Downsound Entertainment, organisers of Reggae Sumfest.

“This year’s line-up is simply awesome. We have expanded the festival to eight days with seven preview and post events and two weekend live stage shows. Last year’s festival was great but this year is even more promising; there’s something for everyone,” stated Bogdanovich.

He also welcomed four major new sponsors for the festival stating, “I want to recognise the addition of four new mega sponsors, Mastercard, Jet Blue, NCB and GraceKennedy.

“I also want to thank all the sponsors who have been with us from the beginning, without you none of this would have been possible”.

The evening concluded with performances by Bounty Killer, JahDore, Teejay, Fantan Mojah, among others.

Reggae Sumfest 2018 will run from July 15-22, with the festival nights 1 and 2 on the 20th and 21st respectively. Some of the most recognisable names in Jamaican music have been confirmed including Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Beres Hamond, Spice, and Popcaan.

Balford Henry

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