Tag: Sumfest

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How Tuna Fish Heir & Reggae Sumfest Owner Josef Bogdanovich Became One of Jamaican Music’s Biggest Advocates

Josef Bogdanovich and Robert Russell

“How can a country with just 3 million people receive so much recognition from people of so many different nationalities? Has anyone figured that out?” Bogdanovich asked. Struggling to be heard above the conversations fueled by the complimentary Red Stripe beer (Sumfest’s title sponsor) served at the bar of Lower East Side venue The DL, Bogdanovich, an American businessman whose experience in the entertainment industry dates back to the 1970s, raised his voice to a thunderous pitch.

“Yo! Have you figured it out yet? We must understand the power of this music and this festival. We must understand the economics of survival and acknowledge that unity is one of the keys to survival. Get educated! Stop the violence! Let’s celebrate unity and togetherness and show just how serious we are about our music, our festival, Reggae Sumfest.”

Montego Bay, Jamaica. 
Montego Bay, Jamaica’s Rising Violence Mirrors Past Troubles — With Music as a Balm

Bogdanovich’s plea to stop the violence refers to the spiraling gang-related murders/reprisal killings in and around Montego Bay stemming from notorious lottery scamming operations. In January 2018, the Jamaican government declared a state of emergency in St. James Parish, where Montego Bay is located, which remains in effect five months later.

Inaugurated in August 1993 at Montego Bay’s Catherine Hall as a vehicle to boost tourism during the summer’s low visitor arrivals season — and as a replacement for its predecessor Reggae Sunsplash, which had relocated to the outskirts of Kingston the same year — Reggae Sumfest has attracted thousands of visitors to Jamaica and generated millions for the island’s economy.

Artists like 50 CentCommonDestiny’s ChildNe-YoNicki MinajLionel RichieRihanna and Kanye West and other American superstars have headlined Sumfest over the years, but it’s reggae that dominates. Many Jamaican artists’ careers have been launched, ascended to the next level or generated interest far beyond the island’s shores directly from the festival’s stage. The legendary Toots and The Maytals, veteran Rastafarian roots singer Burning Spear, dancehall superstars Shaggy and Sean Paul and millennial reggae acts Chronixx and Raging Fyah are among the diverse Jamaican talent that have appeared on the Sumfest stage.

Artists’ escalating costs, juxtaposed with the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar, as well as competition with European summer reggae festivals looking to secure the most popular Jamaican acts, yielded an uncertain future for Reggae Sumfest 2016, which prompted one of the Sumfest founders, Robert Russell, to recommended Bogdanovich as an investor.

“We knew we would have had to scale back Sumfest quite a bit because we reached a point where we couldn’t afford the foreign [American] acts’ prices anymore as the festival’s sponsorship diminished,” Russell told Billboard while in Manhattan for the Sumfest launch. “I initially suggested that Joe get involved as an investor, but then I suggested he buy the festival so he didn’t have to contend with those shareholders who weren’t prepared to move forward and put more money into it, even though they have been reaping the benefits for many years. Joe agreed to buy it [for an undisclosed sum] with the condition that I remain involved, because he needed someone who knew the ropes.”

Los Angeles born and raised Bogdanovich — just “Joe” to his friends and colleagues — began visiting Jamaica in the early 1990s before settling in the island’s capital, Kingston, in 1999. He’s the grandson of the late Martin J. Bogdanovich, the founder of StarKist foods; as an heir to that affluence, Bogdanovich could have invested his resources in any number of entertainment endeavors, anywhere in the world. Yet he chose Jamaica and its reggae and dancehall music, which haven’t yielded financial returns for the island and its artists commensurate with their pervasive influence on popular culture.

“No one gets into this for the money, we do it out of passion, for the love of the music,” Bogdanovich told Billboard in New York, on the evening prior to Sumfest’s April 17th launch.

Bogdanovich, who worked as a film screenwriter, producer and director before turning to music, learned the rigors of the entertainment business from his older brother, Robert, a co-founder of Los Angeles-based Pacific Presentations, one of the largest concert promotion companies of the 1970s. He started the Acid Jazz record label in Los Angeles in 1992, focusing on dance music; a year later he founded Downsound Records. By 1995, Bogdanovich had established a Downsound office in Kingston and ever since, the label has signed and/or released music from an eclectic array of reggae and dancehall artists, charting a musical identity that is as flamboyant, unpredictable and occasionally controversial as Bogdanovich and his wider business moves.

Amidst the resurgence in roots reggae in Jamaica in the mid 2000s, Downsound Records found success with Rastafarian reggae artist Fantan Mojah, especially his meditative chant “Hail The King,” featuring veteran master drummer Bongo Herman, its video directed by Bogdanovich.

Bogdanovich/Downsound were involved in the career of singer Jah Cure, who rose to stardom while serving a 12-year sentence following a rape conviction, the result of what many argue was a biased trial. In 2006, Bogdanovich produced the song and directed the video for what best summarizes Jah Cure’s saga, one of the biggest reggae stories of the 2000s, “True Reflections (Behind These Prison Walls),” which Cure recorded behind bars.

In 2013, Bogdanovich signed and brought resurgent interest to the iconic but troubled deejay Ninja Man, considered the king of clashing (a prototype of hip-hop’s MC battles) since the 1980s. Ninja Man, an admitted crack cocaine user, teamed up with Downsound’s younger signee Specialist as they sparred for generational supremacy on the popular dancehall single “Dweet“; Bogdanovich directed the song’s video and has a speaking role in its opening scenes.

Ninja Man parted ways with Downsound in 2015, was found guilty of a 2009 murder in 2017, and is now serving a life sentence.

Some Downsound artists’ well-publicized, occasionally-acrimonious departures from the label — including Fantan Mojah, deejay Foota Hype, sing-jay Nature and especially female dancehall artist Ishawna — have provided plenty of fodder for Jamaican tabloids and reggae gossip sites. Unsurprisingly, Bogdanovich now prioritizes other entertainment activities over his label pursuits. “We are not really interested in artists now because they sell us out; we’ve been shortchanged so many times that it’s irresponsible for me to spend my time and resources on them,” Bogdanovich said. “We lost a lot of years where my time could have been better spent for the industry, and that is in concert promotion and production.”

Over the past four years, Bogdanovich has elevated his corporate profile with several multimillion-dollar investments in Jamaica. He is a major shareholder in the KLE Group, which operates Usain Bolt‘s Tracks & Records, the popular sports bar/restaurant co-owned by the celebrated Olympian. Bogdanovich also acquired Hardware & Lumber, the island’s largest retail hardware chain, in 2016.

In 2017, Bogdanovich established “Caribbean Love Now” to aid Caribbean islands ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Caribbean Love Now held its inaugural fundraising concert, Jamathon, in November, featuring 30 primarily Jamaican acts, all of whom donated their time for the event. Bogdanovich wouldn’t disclose how much was raised from Jamathon, which is slated to be an annual event, but the organization has already sent containers of relief supplies to the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica; Bogdanovich and a Jamaican team are scheduled to visit Dominica later in the year to oversee the rebuilding of a school and hospital there. The official song for the Caribbean Love Now campaign, “Carry On,” features an all-star Jamaican cast including Tessanne Chin (season 5 winner of NBC’s The Voice), Tarrus Riley and Chronixx, produced by Sean DiedrickDean Fraser and Sherieta Lewis, for Downsound Records.

But the brightest jewel in Bogdanovich’s glittering collection of acquisitions — and potentially its most valuable — is Reggae Sumfest. Since taking the reins in 2016, he’s introduced HD live streaming and a 360 virtual reality access app, which he says generated 60 million digital impressions in 2017, three times more than 2016. Bogdanovich has expanded the now 26-year-old festival to eight days this year (July 15-22), which will include the inaugural Sumfest Inspire Awards, given to industry practitioners; a reggae business symposium; and an international sound system clash, World Clash, organized by preeminent sound system promoters Irish and Chin.

Downsound Entertainment has pioneered a reciprocal promotion strategy between Sumfest and Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year (Dec. 1-5). Most significant of all, Bogdanovich has jettisoned American headliners from Sumfest’s concerts, Festival Nights 1 and 2.

“We use the slogan ‘our music, our festival’ because we’ve reinstated Jamaicans as Sumfest’s international stars,” says Bogdanovich of the lineup, which includes legendary vocalist Beres Hammond; English-Jamaican singer Maxi Priest; dancehall stars Popcaan and Aidonia; Fantan Mojah; Rastafarian chanter Sizzla; longtime Downsound artist Harry Toddler; and Marley. “I want to highlight reggae and dancehall, to bring more business to Jamaica because it’s a great, blessed island,” Bogdanovich says. “And I am doing everything I can to support it.”

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A safe Sumfest

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

May 03, 2018 5 Comments

A section of the crowd attendig a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, St James.

THE state of public emergency currently in place in St James will have no adverse effect on this year’s staging of the annual music festival Reggae Sumfest, according to organisers.

The event is slated for July 15 to 22.

Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of DownSound Entertainment and chairman of Summerfest Productions, promoters of the festival, said the operation, which is in place to reduce the rising levels of criminal activity in that western city, will result in tighter productions at all the events to meet the agreed timelines.

“We’re starting early this year. The show on Friday night begins at eight o’clock and ends at six. We have some restrictions this year in terms of how late we can be out and I think that all these restrictions are rather positive for us because not only are we more safe than ever before, but we will be able to get to bed before the rooster crows,” Bogdanovich told the media at a rap session held at his DownSound Entertainment corporate office in New Kingston yesterday.

“There’s no question that there is more safety in the country now and the fact the people who live there welcome this extension. Everybody is feeling a sense of normalcy in terms of being more comfortable and safe. The pre-events will end by 2 o’clock, all of them. We have very good safety there. We have never had a problem in the Sumfest area and that won’t change,” he continued.

The state of public emergency was implemented on January 18 of this year for 14 days. It was extended by Parliament as required by the constitution. A further extension to August 2 was approved by the Senate yesterday.

At the session, Bogdanovich skirted around announcing a definitive price tag to stage the event but noted that this year’s show should make money based on the level of sponsorship from local and international partners.

 “It’s a very expensive festival. We’ve expanded to eight days from seven; there are now 10 events. It costs money to project the image of what real reggae and dancehall music is all about and I think the production that we do compared to what you see in other countries is second to none. The box office certainly does not pay for the expenditure that we do. We are actually spending more money this year in terms of the production and the line-up than ever before. We have more meaningful sponsors than ever before. To do the kind of production that we do to make the world understand how dynamic reggae and dancehall music is, it takes a lot of production and we need international sponsors to support us and we’re on the road to doing this. I believe this year we’ll make money,” he said.

First held in 1993, Reggae Sumfest has featured dancehall’s elite such as Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Lady Saw and Capleton. International acts, including TI, Common, Usher, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, Ne-Yo, Mary J Blige, and Alicia Keys have also performed on it.

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Promoter expects record turnout for Sumfest

March 14, 2018
Photo at left: Tourists enjoying the action at last year’s Sumfest.
With the sales for the second round of early bird tickets for this year’s Reggae Sumfest going fast, organisers are expecting a record turnout for their 25th anniversary staging.

In a recent interview withTHE STAR, Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of Reggae Sumfest, said that tickets sales for this year are going well and explained that the demand has been so great that they have had to make available a second batch of early bird tickets.

Tickets are now available for general and VIP admission for nights one and two, as well as tickets for pre-events/post events, including Colorfest Beach Party, Street Dance, All-White Party, The Blitz Party, The World Clash, featuring Irish & Chin 20th Anniversary and Morning Medz After Party.

Bogdanovich also revealed that when compared to previous years, this year’s sales are going better, and he expects numbers to improve as the date for the festival, dubbed the ‘Greatest reggae show on Earth’, draws near.

Reggae Sumfest will be held in Montego Bay, St James, from July 15 to 22.

The organiser credits the high demand for the tickets to the quality of show patrons get each year.

“This year will be exceptional. Production has been awesome and will continue to be awesome, but what is different every year with Sumfest is that we strive for the unexpected that brings more joy and harmony to the experience,” he said, noting that top reggae acts have already been booked for the show.

“Everyone involved with Sumfest, which involves people and companies all over the world, are proud of what has been done with Reggae Sumfest [since the festival changed its format in 2016]. Plans are going great and the festival is being embraced early both here at home and abroad. Tickets are selling quickly and hotels are already being booked. We are ready for eight days of fun with great entertainment.”

MAIN MISSION

As it relates to the fact that International Night was dropped from the roster, Bogdanovich stressed that the festival’s “main mission is to make Reggae Sumfest the most authentic reggae and dancehall festival in the world.”

To achieve that, the CEO revealed that although there is no ‘International night’ per se, each year the organisers reach out to international acts each year who fit well with the show’s brand.

“We are not solely focusing on Jamaican talent. They are the core and priority, but our main mission is to make Reggae Sumfest the most authentic reggae and dancehall festival in the world. To do this right, you have to reach out to international artistes as well. Each year, we reach out to international artistes who fit well with our own Jamaican artistes, and exemplify the positive and important influence of Jamaican music and culture from all over the world,” he said.

Canada’s Tory Lanez and Patoranking from Nigeria have performed on the show, as both acts have included dancehall in the music. And, for this year’s show, Bogdanovich said that they reached out to American reggae artiste J. Boog, who is of Samoan descent.

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Aidonia Hosting Birthday Bash In NY, Ready For Reggae Sumfest

Occupying the No.1 spot on various charts across the diaspora with the singles “Hot Tool,” “Yeah Yeah,” and “Breeze,” 4th Genna boss Aidonia continues to dominate the local dancehall space amidst work on his upcoming album.

Internationally, the deejay has been experiencing a steady stream of success with the singles “Yeah Yeah” and “Breeze,” featuring Govana, both going mainstream in recent months. At the recently held Your View Awards (YVAs) showcase, he also took home the award for ‘Hottest Summer Song’ coupled with a noteworthy nomination for his humanitarian efforts through the One Voice Foundation.

Alluding to his recent success and upcoming album Aidonia says, “Big up all the fans for the continued support. As for the album I want to provide fans with something exceptional, hence I believe as an artiste it is extremely important to take the time and effort to mould each record in the best way I possibly can.”

With only a few weeks to go, the 4th Genna head honcho is now in full throttle mode promoting his two-part birthday celebrations slated for Saturday, March 31 in Jamaica and Saturday, April 28 in New York City. The Jamaican leg will be hosted at Island Village Beach, Ocho Rios while Amazura Night Club will take centre-stage for the New York edition.

Adding to the current positive trend the deejay has also released the official video for the catchy party anthem ‘Breeze’ via his Vevo page and has been confirmed for this year’s Reggae Sumfest along with label-mate Govana and several other high profile acts. The festival is set to unfold on July 15 -21 at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.

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Caribbean Love Campaign Offers Big Support For Post-Hurricane Recovery

Joe Bogdanovich (third from right), Investor & CEO, Downsound Records is flanked by (from left) Lloyd Distant, CEO, Hardware & Lumber Limited; Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Tourism; Taurus Riley, recording artiste; Gary Matalon, CEO & Director, KLE Group; and Marcus Richards, Executive Vice Chairman of Argyle Industries Inc., and Director of Hardware and Lumber at the launch of the Caribbean Love Campaign in support of post-hurricane rebuilding efforts in islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Mr. Bogdanovich will leverage the businesses and brands with which he is associated to rally donations on behalf of the people in islands impacted by the hurricanes.

Investor Joe Bogdanovich yesterday announced the launch of Caribbean Love, a hurricane relief campaign that will support rebuilding programmes in islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

As part of the campaign, Mr. Bogdanovich will leverage the businesses and brands with which he is associated to rally donations on behalf of the people in islands impacted by the hurricanes. Each business and brand will participate in the relief effort in their own way.

“As human beings, we should all be deeply concerned by what has happened over the course of the hurricane season. But this is an opportunity for us to define who we are as Caribbean people. The devastation must be met with hope, unity and a sense of purpose,” said Mr. Bogdanovich.

The brands and businesses Mr. Bogdanovich has made the launch partners of Caribbean Love are Reggae Sumfest, Downsound Records, Downsound Entertainment, FranJam, KLE, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, H&L Rapid True Value, H&L Agro, Parkland Industrial Co., Argyle Industries and the R Hotel. Additional partners will be announced as the campaign is deployed.

At present, the key initiatives of the campaign include contributions of cash from each business as well as:

Sumfest Reloaded…  the Benefit

DSE will produce a benefit concert and telethon set to take place in Kingston, Jamaica tentatively scheduled for a date in November 2017. Artists from Jamaica and the Caribbean will be invited to perform.

Donations of equipment and supplies

Hardware & Lumber will also donate equipment and building supplies.  Jamaicans are also invited to make donations of canned food, clothing, tarpaulins batteries and solar lamps, etc. in containers donated by Parkland Industrial Co. at all 15 H&L Rapid True Value and H&L Agro stores across the island.  One hundred percent of all donations will be distributed to the people of the affected islands.

Global monetary donations and support

The Caribbean Love campaign will reach out globally to all continents and to millions of Caribbean music, culture, and lifestyle fans and various enterprises for financial and other types of support of this initiative.

Mr. Bogdanovich appealed to corporations and artists to join the Caribbean Love movement. “I am calling out personally to corporations and artists to join the Caribbean Love movement.  Now more than ever, we have to stand up for our Caribbean brothers and sisters. No one could have imagined that so much could be lost so quickly. Jamaica is in the position to help in a meaningful way, but we must act now, and we must act together and make an important difference,” he said.

“We as a group are committed to helping our Caribbean brothers and sisters in this tremulous time of need. We are committed to making a difference,” said Mr. Bogdanovich. He further stated that the Caribbean Love visit the affected islands to meet with government and development organizations and local charities to develop a clear understanding of the help needed to return growth and stability to these countries.

 

Joe Bogdanovich, Investor & CEO, Downsound Records shares details on the Caribbean Love Campaign in support of post-hurricane rebuilding efforts in islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Mr. Bogdanovich will leverage the businesses and brands with which he is associated to rally donations on behalf of the people in islands impacted by the hurricanes. “I am calling out personally to corporations and artistes to join the Caribbean Love movement. Now more than ever, we have to stand up for our Caribbean brothers and sisters. No one could have imagined that so much could have been lost so quickly. Jamaica is in the position to help in a meaningful way, but we must act now, and we must act together and make an important difference,” he said.

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Joe Bogdanovich launches campaign to support post-hurricane relief

 Investor Joe Bogdanovich today announced the launch of Caribbean Love, a hurricane relief campaign that will support rebuilding programmes in islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

As part of the campaign, Bogdanovich will leverage the businesses and brands with which he is associated to rally donations on behalf of the people in islands impacted by the hurricanes. Each business and brand will participate in the relief effort in their own way.

“As human beings, we should all be deeply concerned by what has happened over the course of the hurricane season. But this is an opportunity for us to define who we are as Caribbean people. The devastation must be met with hope, unity and a sense of purpose,” said Bogdanovich.

The brands and businesses Bogdanovich has made the launch partners of Caribbean Love are Reggae Sumfest, Downsound Records, Downsound Entertainment, FranJam, KLE, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, H&L Rapid True Value, H&L Agro, Parkland Industrial Co., Argyle Industries and the R Hotel. Additional partners will be announced as the campaign is deployed.

Sumfest Reloaded…  the Benefit

A benefit concert and telethon set to take place in Kingston, Jamaica tentatively scheduled for a date in November 2017.

Donations of equipment and supplies

Hardware & Lumber will also donate equipment and building supplies.  Jamaicans are also invited to make donations of canned food, clothing, tarpaulins batteries and solar lamps, etc. in containers donated by Parkland Industrial Co. at all 15 H&L Rapid True Value and H&L Agro stores across the island.  One hundred percent of all donations will be distributed to the people of the affected islands.

Bogdanovich appealed to corporations and artistes to join the Caribbean Love movement. “Now more than ever, we have to stand up for our Caribbean brothers and sisters. No one could have imagined that so much could be lost so quickly.  Jamaica is in the position to help in a meaningful way, but we must act now, and we must act together,” he said.

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‘Reggae Sumfest 2017′ The Best Weekend In Festival History

News

Mikey Fresh | August 1, 2017 – 4:47 pm

For 25 years, Jamaica’s annual Reggae Sumfest festival has been celebrated as the biggest and best weekend for Caribbean music lovers. Throughout the years, legends like Damian Marley, Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer, Lady Saw, Beres Hammond, Tony Rebel, Andy Vernon, Frankie Paul and so on have graced the stage in Montego Bay for fans far and near.

This year, VIBE flew down with the good folks at Red Stripe for a full weekend of groovy music, local cuisine and of course all the Jamaican hospitality one could ask for. It all started in the heart of the islands — Kingston — which is also home to the Red Stripe brewery. We were treated to a full tour of the facility and a history lesson on the beer’s origins. First developed by pioneers Paul H. Geddes and Bill Martindale in 1928, the lager has stood the test of time and remains as the brew of choice by locals — and of course Jamaica-obsessed reggae fans from all over the world.

As the most historic and connected beverage to reggae culture, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t also sample some of the goods. Lucky for us, they had a fresh batch of their new sorrel and lemon infused beers, both of which carry subtle undertones of their respective fruity flavors, without being overbearing. These are the perfect pairings for local favorites like jerk chicken and braised oxtails. However, Red Stripe fanatics stateside will have to wait a bit longer until the specialty beers are available in the U.S. (we recommend sending some demanding emails to the company to speed this process up).

“Red Stripe is very much a part of the dancehall and reggae scene,” says Andrew Anguin, marketing manager for Caribbean imports at Red Stripe. “It’s important for us to have a real presence in the culture, deeper than just selling beer. As a native Jamaican, I’ve seen Sumfest grow into an iconic event that has helped shape festival culture here. We see it as a global platform and hope to take to other countries in the future.”

With a serious passion and love for the brand, Andrew hopes to help take Red Stripe and Sumfest to new heights in the years to come. After spending several extended dinners (island time) with the cordial brand ambassador, we quickly realized that his strong presence within the company comes from his dedication to helping spread Jamaican culture to the world.

From Kingston, we headed out to Ocho Rios for an outdoor excursion that included cliff diving, lazy river tubing and a much needed visit to Scotchies for some of the best jerk chicken, pork and grilled kingfish we had throughout our trip. Things only elevated from there — literally. After an hour or so ride in our trusty Red Stripe shuttle bus we arrived at the famous Golden Eye airport where we boarded a single engine plane for a magnificent guided tour of the lush shorelines and blue waters until we arrived in Montego Bay. Honestly, the ride was a bit nerve racking but the views were breathtaking and truly unforgettable.

After settling in at the Secrets Hotel and Resort, conveniently located 5 minutes from Sumfest festival grounds, it was time to prepare for two long nights of nonstop reggae and dancehall music. And we do mean NONSTOP because each night the party starts at 10 PM and doesn’t end until well after 9 AM the next morning, but the fans wouldn’t have it any other way. With an all-star lineup that included Alkaline, Spice, Mavado, Bounty Killer, Tory Lanez, Tommy Lee Sparta, Mavado, Queen Ifrica, Sean Paul, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Jah Cure and many more, we did all we could to stay awake for the madness.

Sumfest isn’t your average festival, the collective synergy that builds up throughout the night makes for a euphoric feeling that takes over your body with each act. We were particularly blown away by Spice and Tommy Lee, who both represent for all generations of reggae. Mr. Sparta even blessed VIBE with a wicked freestyle after a little poolside conversation.

With the bass booming from the speakers, we feasted on patties and homemade treats from a variety of local vendors while keeping cool with bucket after bucket of ice cold Red Stripe. Other acts like Beeanie Man and Jah Cure reminded us of why we fell in love with reggae in the first place — with their sets packed with hit after hit, and newer stars like Dexta Dabs and Kybaka Pyramid kept us dutty winding to the uppity dancehall vibes for hours on end.

One thing is for sure, we’ll be back next year to do it all over again. As long at the chunes keep churning from the islands and the brews keep flowing, there is nothing that will stop us from becoming SumFest regulars.
Cheers!

https://www.vibe.com/2017/08/red-stripe-reggae-sum-fest-recap-dancehall/

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Alkaline conquers Sumfest Dancehall Night with impressive performance

Alkaline on stage at Reggae Sumfest on Saturday morning. (Photo: Marlon Reid)Alkaline on stage at Reggae Sumfest on Saturday morning. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

Dancehall sensation Alkaline delivered an impressive performance Saturday morning at Reggae Sumfest, showing improved stage presence during the 30 minutes that he captivated the Catherine Hall, Montego Bay capacity audience.

After being introduced by MC Miss Kitty at minutes to 6am, Alkaline appeared on stage singing his hit single Formula and proceeded to work a set that should go a far way in dismissing doubts about his ability to perform on a stage show.

He then reeled off City, ATM, Impact and Extra Lesson among other hits, working both ends of the stage and receiving loud cheers of approval from both men and women.

In between songs, he took shots at one his rivals, Montego Bay’s hometown son, Tommy Lee, calling him “Nyammi Lee”, which sparked laughter and excitement in the crowd.

Dean Fraser (left) joins Alkaline on stage.

His first diss of Tommy Lee came early in his set, when after completing City, he said, “pu..y Nyammi Lee a hope yuh hear this, because yuh deh backstage.”

He would repeat the “Nyammi Lee” diss of his nemesis, who was set to close the show, later in his performance.

Another sign that Alkaline has been putting thoughts and efforts behind his stage performance was when he called on saxophonist Dean Fraser to help him perform Son Of A Queen, which he dedicated to his mother.

And having already whipped the audience into a frenzy, he closed his set with Afterall – the video of which recently triggered a high level investigation – to loud approval.

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Closing acts Sizzla, Beenie brought solid end to Sumfest 2017

 Sizzla Kalonji performs last Sunday as he brought the curtains down on Reggae Sumfest 2017. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)Sizzla Kalonji performs last Sunday as he brought the curtains down on Reggae Sumfest 2017. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Veteran entertainer Sizzla Kalonji was in fine form at Reggae Sumfest 2017, closing the show with a stellar performance that had the hundreds remaining for his act thoroughly involved during his set at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.

With the early morning sun belting, Sizzla ‘heated’ up the venue even further with a fiery performance that had him doing hits after hits. At times, he enticed the crowd with just a verse before moving onto a next song while reminding them that it was Selassie’s birthday.

He also joined the throng of artistes on the show to condemn the spate of violence in Montego Bay and implored the youths to stop it.

“Unuh a kill off unuh self too much,” he said.

Being of the rasta conviction, Sizzla did a number of songs dedicated to his faith, but also had some for the ladies, the system, “rude boys” and his mother.

Among the songs that Sizzla did were: Guns Out, Good Ways, Simplicity, Solid As A Rock, Praise Ye Jah, Rise To The Occasion, Woman I Need You, Dry Cry, Thank You Mama and Run Out Pon Dem.

Earlier, the penultimate act, Beenie Man, delivered his typical entertaining set, and was well-received by the crowd.

Beenie Man

‘The Doctor’ was in his element as he reeled off a number of his hits during his hour-long set; he also danced and joked with the audience, adding to his performance.

After doing some introductory songs backstage, Beenie Man started his act just after 7:00 am Sunday morning with Who Am I, and did nearly 40 songs during his extended stint that also had guest performers, including one of his daughters. When his performance ended with I Am Okay, he had captivated the audience.

Among his guests was Press Kay, a female with whom he performed Healing, a duet that was originally recorded with Lady Saw. Press Kay sung Lady Saw’s section and danced in front of Beenie Man.

They had the crowd in stitches when Press Kay started singing to Beenie Man “remember when mi put it pon you,” and again tried to engage him in a dance, to which he responded “Krystal (his partner) a guh chop up you”.

Among the other songs that Beenie delivered to ‘forwards’ were Romie, Old Dawg, Tear Off Mi Garment, Blackboard, Modelling, Dude, King Of The Dancehall, Let’s Go and Certain Gal.

http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/closing-acts-sizzla-beenie-brought-solid-end-sumfest-2017