March 2019

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Sumfest Takes Flight

Published:Saturday | March 30, 2019 |

Caribbean Airlines on Wednesday showcased its partnership as the presenting sponsor of Reggae Sumfest by unveiling the festival’s logo on one of its 737 aircraft. The aircraft will fly across the airline’s network of 20 destinations.

“As one of the world’s best reggae events, Reggae Sumfest is a perfect match for our new brand story, ‘The Caribbean Identity’, which is an affirmation of our shared heritage and culture. Music is a big part of the Caribbean, and our partnership with Sumfest is a perfect way for us to demonstrate how deeply we understand the passion points of the Caribbean,” said Garvin Medera, CEO of Caribbean Airlines.

“As Reggae Sumfest continues to chart a new course for Jamaican music, culture and festivals, we couldn’t be happier to have a partner like Caribbean Airlines, who will help take this brand to a new level,” said Josef Bogdanovich, CEO, Downsound Entertainment, the festival’s producer.

Over seven days, July 14 to 20, more than 40 of reggae and dancehall’s most celebrated performers will take the Reggae Sumfest stage at Catherine Hall and other venues in Montego Bay, St James. Caribbean Airlines is offering a discount of 10 per cent off flights to Montego Bay and Kingston from select destinations for customers who book by April 15, for travel between the 12th and 22nd of July.

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Reggae Sumfest launches in T&T, soca to get main stage spot in 2020

Josef Bogdanovich, owner of Reggae Sumfest

Soca might be on the main stage of next year’s Reggae Sumfest.

Speaking to Loop on ahead of the Trinidad and Tobago launch of this year’s event which took place aboard the Ocean Pelican on Thursday night, Josef Bogdanovich, owner of the Reggae Sumfest and founder of DownSound Entertainment (DSE), said they have been talking about the inclusion of soca for many years.

“The time is coming and I won’t be surprised if next year we have a soca act. I think it fits because we try to keep everything fresh,” he said.

Though not on the main stage this year, Soca would be represented during the seven-day festival to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with the inclusion of Skinny Fabulous, one-third of the winning Roach March team from Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival.

Soca’s inclusion into the 22-year-old event as well as the launch of the event in T&T is Bogdanovich’s strategy to use Caribbean culture to unify the region.  Unity, he said, is the key to economic prosperity.

“It’s important for the Caribbean to be an economic bloc. It’s a culture, it’s a Caribbean culture and there are different kinds of culture in all the countries but they all love reggae and soca is growing which is a great thing for the Caribbean and it’s authentic and it’s good music but yet there is this animosity between people and I see it in all the countries. We have to stop this, we need to work together, we can’t work alone to become more prosperous,” he said.

 

CAL CEO Garvin Medera and Reggae Sumfest owner Josef Bogdanovich pose in front of the festival’s logo which will be on CAL’s 737 planes.

T&T, he said, is also a gateway to South America which allows his DSE and Reggae Sumfest to attract that market.

“It provides additional opportunity for everyone – citizens, parish and country,” he said.

T&T is also the home of Caribbean Airlines (CAL), which has signed a multi-year agreement to be the presenting sponsor for Reggae Sumfest. As part of that partnership, Caribbean unveiled the festival’s logo on one of its 737 aircraft. The aircraft will fly across the airline’s network of 20 destinations.

“We are here because of Caribbean Airlines, out new presenting sponsor, it’s a special relationship we have with them. I feel we are really in this together,” he said.

Having big sponsors on board contributes to the sustainability of the event, something Bogdanovich is concerned about as he focuses on building an event that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of festivals such as Coachella.

“Our vision has not changed. Produce a cutting edge festival that is competitive with the best festivals worldwide delivering great performances, production, lifestyle, and service that is sustainable. To produce the kind of festival that I actively engage in, I have to appeal to not only local sponsorship but international ones as well. It costs a lot of money to do what we do at DSE,” he said.

 

Buju Banton will be one of the headliners at Reggae Sumfest

He revealed that Master Card has signed on as a sponsor for a second year.

“Our vision takes a creative spirit, know-how, discipline and financing that is required to sustain this vision.  It also takes the commitment of our company and citizens in general to support one another and to understand the importance of reggae music of Jamaica. Let’s keep reggae and dancehall music alive at home.”

Bogdanovich assumed control of Reggae Sumfest in 2016 after its founders, Summerfest Entertainment, sold the brand to him.

Asked what drew him to the brand, reggae music, and Jamaica, the Los Angeles native said he had a label called Acid Jazz which did black dance music with branches in London and Los Angeles. He said the first reggae track he produced was from a white kid called Dread Flimstone and it made it to the Billboard pop charts.

“So I started Down Sound Records out of LA and I came to Jamaica and I fell in love with the place. I set up an office there and I flew from LA to Kingston but eventually I moved there and I never came back,” he said.

Under Down Sound, Bogdanovich managed artists such as Ninjaman who is now serving a life sentence for murder, Ishawna and Jah Cure, among others. Today he only manages one artist, rising dancehall singer Shawna Chin who will be among the star-studded Reggae Sumfest cast.

Bogdanovich said this year there is an emphasis on newer, relatively unknown artists and women.

He has had to defend the choice of some of the cast in the Jamaican media such as X factor winner Dalton Harris who will be making his Sumfest debut.

The highlights of the weekend, of course, will be performances from what is being billed as BBC, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, and Chronixx.

He said while the focus is on keeping the money in the diaspora and Jamaica by focusing on reggae and dancehall from the island, he is open to foreign acts. In the past, Sumfest has seen performances from Rihanna, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, Usher, and Kanye West among others.

“I am still open to foreign acts because music has no boundaries. If you want to play at Reggae Sumfest and you have the fan base, you have to want to come,” he said, revealing that Cardi B expressed an interest in performing but there was a conflict with her schedule.

Bogdanovich is also focused on developing the next generation of support for Reggae Sumfest by making the festival attractive to a younger demographic. This will be done this year through a symposium about the music industry for college students, fans who want to learn about reggae culture and those looking to break into the industry.  The event will take place in Kingston on July 6, expanding the Reggae Sumfest across Jamaica.

There will also be the Go Social awards for influencers and bloggers who produce content on food, restaurants, and bars and so on. The awards are open to anyone.

Bogdanovich said Reggae Sumfest is growing every year and about 20,000 people are expected to be in Montego Bay each night for what is considered the premier reggae event. But he is particularly proud of what he said is exponential growth in the viewing audience for the free live stream.

“We had over a million people looking at it over the weekend last year and the feed didn’t break down,” he said.

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Rihanna’s upcoming Reggae album could feature Jamaican superstar Buju Banton as anticipated by fans!
Will ’s upcoming Reggae album feature ? Almost certainly, yes!

Last year, the “Work” hitmaker registered a new single titled “Phatty,” in which the Jamaican superstar, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie was credited as a writer.

The pop star also filmed herself on Snapchat listening to the Buju Banton’s smash hit “Wanna Be Loved.”

Embedded video

vibing to ‘s smash “Wanna Be Loved” [filmed last year] 🎶🔥

The pop singer was then photographed in New York heading to a recording studio wearing a t-shirt with Reggae star’s face on.

Click on the images to enlarge!

Online users have since expressed great enthusiasm for the collaborative track by the pair.

Sources close to Rihanna told Hype Life Magazine that the “Diamonds” singer has always been a huge fan of Buju Banton and will most likely be sampling the singer’s 1995 hit for her new Reggae album, which is slated to be released later this year.

Another source indicated that she was interested in getting fresh vocals from his team.

Buju Banton, who was sentenced to 10 years for drug related charges, is set to be released on December 8.

Whilst no official collaborations have been announced, fans believe there is a strong possibility that artists Rihanna collaborated with on other projects in 2017 may well appear on her ninth album.

Last year Rihanna worked with  and Bryson Tiller on “Wild Thoughts” as well as with Calvin Harris on “This Is What You Came For,” Future with their project Selfish, Pharell on Lemon and Kendrick Lamar on LOYALTY.

Anti, the 30-year-old singer’s eighth studio album, was released in 2016 and was placed at number 32 in the UK end of year charts and five in the 2016 US Billboard 200.

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Reggae Sumfest organiser defends line-up – Chronixx for ‘Dancehall Night’, Dalton Harris to make Sumfest debut

March 22, 2019
Reggae artiste Chronixx is set to perform at Reggae Sumfest in July. However, the announcement that he will be performing on night one of the festival, more popularly known as ‘Dancehall Night’, has some social media users questioning whether that placement is fitting.

Based on Chronixx’s music, persons have been voicing concerns about him performing among hardcore dancehall acts.

“Why night one? This makes no sense,” one user wrote under the post on Reggae Sumfest’s Instagram page.

“Why is he on night one? He needs to be on night two,” another wrote.

Although still concerned, some users say they understood Chronixx’s inclusion on dancehall night. Pointing out that the singer is a huge crowd-puller, some users have concluded that with Buju Banton and Beres Hammond booked for night two, Chronixx’s placement on dancehall night is to ensure that night one gets just as many patrons as night two.

In a recent interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of Downsound Entertainment and chief organiser of Reggae Sumfest, said that while he is aware of some of the concerns about Chronixx’s inclusion on night one, he believes the singer is a good fit.

“That’s the difference between a promoter and a patron. As a promoter, we set trends and develop trends. Chronixx is someone that supports the dancehall as well. He’s a conscious singer, but he wants to connect with a deeper fan base and with as much people as possible. At Sumfest, we’re trying to get past the segregation of Dancehall Night and Reggae Night because a lot of the places where festivals are being held around the world, they mix it up,” he said.

Singer Dalton Harris is also booked for Reggae Sumfest. But some persons on social media have said that aside from the ‘X Factor’ win, Harris does not have enough clout to perform on the Sumfest stage.

Bogdanovich begs to differ.

“There’s a lot of interest in Dalton. He’s one heck of a singer. Come on. You don’t need any other reason to want him on the show,” he said.

Based on the line-up, Bogdanovich said that patrons are in for a treat.

“I think what’s exciting about the show this year, also, is that we will have a good blend of the young, the experienced, the hardcore and the conscious. The show is going to do well, and I think we’re going to see a show that’s well supported,” he said.

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Reggae Sumfest 2019 to support more females

March 22, 2019 | Shereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter

More female artistes across the reggae and dancehall genres will be getting the chance to shine at a major music festival this year. Promoters of Reggae Sumfest have revealed that the 2019 line-up will include more female artistes as they believe that the women in the industry have been improving over the past few years.

Speaking with The Gleaner, CEO of Downsound Entertainmen, and chief organiser of Reggae Sumfest, Joe Bogdanovich, revealed that outside of ‘Dancehall Queen’ Spice, the Sumfest line-up this year will include the likes of fast-rising dancehall artistes Dovey Magnum and Shauna Chyn. He said that more announcements will be made in the coming weeks as more acts will be added for dancehall and reggae nights.

“I may have some more surprises up my sleeve as far as female performers are concerned, but I can’t talk about that just yet. All I can say is that we will be having more female performers at this year’s Reggae Sumfest. The females have just been getting a lot better. They’re more competitive, and more people want to see them. And so, for us, it was just a question of recognising what the patrons want and giving that to them,” he said. He continued, “Dovey Magnum will be there, and we’re looking forward to seeing what she brings to the stage. She has an underground popularity, and so we want to see what she can do. Shauna Chyn is also going to be there, and she, too, has been making some moves in the industry. I’m also looking forward to what she delivers.”

In addition to the increased number of female artistes on the line-up, Bogdanovich revealed that Sumfest 2019 will be supporting artistes from the Second City. Like they did last year, Sumfest organisers will give Montego Bay artistes their time to shine onstage. “We’re gonna also feature some of the young artistes who made a big impression last year. This year, the group that’s really hot out of Montego Bay is the 6ixes, and we’re supporting Montego Bay. We will be giving the 6ixes an opportunity to shine. That group is led by Squash, and all the artistes are very talented. Chronic Laws is also very good. They’re all just so talented, and we want to show them that we recognise them. Rygin King broke out last year after Reggae Sumfest, and that’s the first that’s ever happened on the show, where we break a new artiste. But that goes to show the kind of dynamics that we’re pushing and developing at Reggae Sumfest with this current administration. We’re blessed with so much talent in Jamaica, and we at Reggae Sumfest recognise that.”

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Buju Banton secured for Reggae Sumfest

Following his historic performance at the National Stadium on Saturday night, reggae artiste Buju Banton is ready to take his extensive catalogue to Montego Bay.
Reggae Sumfest has secured Buju along with Beres Hammond and Chronixx for this year’s festival.
“The greatest reggae show on earth” will also feature The Voice UK winner Dalton Harris.
Other performers set to grace the stage are Protoje, Tarrus Riley, Jah9, Chris Martin, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Dexta Daps, Spice, Govana, Munga Honorable and Montego Bay’s own Squash.
Reggae Sumfest 2019 runs from July 14 to 20.

 

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Buju will be ‘amazing’ at Sumfest – Bogdanovich

March 20, 2019
 Buju Banton

For those who missed Buju Banton’s performance at the National Stadium last Saturday, the chance to see the Gargamel in his element will roll around again this summer at Reggae Sumfest 2019.

The Sumfest team made the revelation on Sunday morning after the Long Walk to Freedom concert wrapped up inside the National Stadium.

‘Sumfest to B.B.C.’ (referring to Buju, Beres Hammond and Chronixx), made the rounds on social media and in print, as the show’s organisers revealed the artistes set to headline the big nights of this year’s festival.

In an interview with THE STAR, CEO of Downsound Entertainment and chief organiser of Reggae Sumfest, Joe Bogdanovich, revealed that talks between Buju and his team began last December when he was released from prison.

“He respects the festival and the reach we have and he wanted to do the show. He just didn’t want us to advertise before his show and so we held off,” he said, stating that he expects Banton’s Sumfest appearance to be just as good as Saturday. “Buju is doing great things as he exhibited the other night, and I think he’s going to be amazing. He’s going to do four shows before us in July, and by then he will only get better. He’s going to get re-familiarised with everything and he’s going to be even more excited. I expect more energy, more interaction, just more of everything.”

Bogdanovich would not reveal how deep he had to dig in his pockets to ensure the Gargamel would grace the Sumfest stage, but says he is certain it will be money well spent.

“I can’t tell you that (the fee),” he said. “All I can say is that we listen to our patrons and we try our best to give them what they want and right now, they want Buju.”

He also spoke about Hammond and Chronixx, the other two headliners.

“The people love Beres, they love Buju and they love Chronixx, so we came up with the B.B.C. idea. This line-up and festival is very special, and I think it’s going to be very hard to beat,” he said. “There’s been a very strong response, the tickets are selling so fast already. I think the VIP and ultra-VIP are the ones that are really hot right now. People are understanding that it’s a seven-day festival, and so they’re also booking the pre-events as well. We’re feeling very positive about the show and we expect things will only get better as we get closer to summer.”

ENTICING LINE-UP

Bogdanovich added that although the headline acts announced are crowd pullers, the entire Sumfest line-up will be enticing.

He explained that as the show date draws closer, he will have several surprise announcements.

“Both Friday night and Saturday night will be filled with great music from some great artistes,” he said. ‘I can’t reveal all the things I have in store just yet but just know that we have some surprises to come. Sumfest is keen on supporting young females so expect more women on the line-up this year. We’re also very supportive of young artistes. The growth of the music is what we will be supporting this year. It’s important to support the future in the present and that’s what we will do.”

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Buju Banton, Beres Hammond & Chronixx to perform at Reggae Sumfest 2019

The line-up keeps getting Hotter! Buju Banton, Beres Hammond & Chronixx to perform at Reggae Sumfest 2019

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Downsound Entertainment & Reggae Sumfest Are Proud to Announce the First Round of Artists for Reggae Sumfest 2019