Author: joana


5 Caribbean Music Festivals That Should Be On Your Radar

Don’t let those ‘Fyre Fest’ docs scare ya! Check out 5 amazing Caribbean summer music festivals here!

For music lovers, warm weather is more than just a well-needed break from months of chilly temps. Summer means longer days, hotter nights and music festivals featuring many of our favorite artists hitting the stage.

While popular festivals such as Coachella and Made In America always come to mind, fans who desire a more unique experience should look no further than the Caribbean for slept-on options. There’s no shortage of star power, with acts ranging from Buju Banton to John Legend. Several neighboring and host hotels also offer deals to make the trip possible even for those of tight budgets (as frequent travelers know, a flight to certain Caribbean islands from the states can often be less expensive than flying cross-country).

Reggae SumFest

Check out five amazing music festivals taking place in the Caribbean this summer below.

Reggae and dancehall lovers need not look any further than gorgeous Montego Bay, Jamaica, as the Reggae SumFest touches down on the island July 14-20. Acts this year vary from Jamaican icons such as Spragga Benz and Elephant Man to current star and Love & Hip Hop : Atlanta castmate Spice. Past performers have included Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killa, Mavado, Gyptian, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Missy Elliott and more. For more, check out

Read More

Copyright © 2019 EBONY Media Operations.



Putting Out the Fyre: 10 Caribbean Music Fests That Get It Right

Shelby Soblick/Getty Images
A general view of atmosphere at Reggae Sumfest on July 28, 2013 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

A spectacular 2,500-mile island chain, the Caribbean archipelago extends from below the southern tip of Florida to just above the coast of South America. The region’s tropical climate and tranquil beaches, complemented by a vibrant mélange of cultures and indigenous musical styles, have provided spectacular ambience for a wide range of music festivals. Among the earliest was Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash, founded in 1978 (Bob Marley performed there in 1979) as a means of enticing visitors to the island during the slow summer tourism season. Forty-one years later, music festivals are held year-round throughout the Caribbean. Utilizing primarily outdoor locations, from intimate rustic spaces to stadium size venues, country, rock, jazz, blues and hip-hop are heard alongside the region’s own calypso, reggae, dancehall, salsa, soca and reggaetón. If the nightmarish tales of FEMA tents and soggy cheese sandwiches associated with the infamous Bahamian bomb have induced festival fear, it’s time to forget the Fyre and consider 10 of the Caribbean’s best music festivals, listed here in alphabetical order. (Click Read More at end of article for full article)

Reggae Sumfest, Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 14-20, 2019

When Reggae Sunsplash vacated its Montego Bay home in 1993, a new reggae festival was created, Reggae Sumfest, and its success quickly surpassed that of its (now defunct) predecessor. In 2016, Sumfest’s future appeared uncertain, at which point American born, Kingston based businessman Josef Bogdanovich, CEO/founder of Downsound Entertainment, purchased the event. Bogdanovich has expanded Sumfest to include social media influencer awards, a music business symposium, an international sound system clash, and two nights of performances by Jamaica’s biggest acts. The 2019 lineup features Rasta roots artists Chronixx, Tarrus Riley, Jah9 and Protoje alongside marquee dancehall names Spice, Elephant Man, Dexta Daps and Spragga Benz and Buju Banton, who fits neatly in both categories. Sumfest has a new presenting sponsor Caribbean Airlines and launches are planned in New York, Miami and London. Says Bogdanovich: “Sumfest delivers a quality production and I intend to establish this Jamaican music festival on an international level that competes with Coachella and Glastonbury.”

Read More


Foota Hype Booked For Reggae Sumfest Despite Downsound Fallout

Foota Hype







Foota Hype and Downsound Records put their differences aside for at least one night.

The veteran sound system selector is booked for the 2019 Reggae Sumfest despite his prior falling out with Downsound. Foota Hype says Joe Bogdanovich saw his performance at Rebel Salute and was so impressed by it that he instructed his team to reach out to the disc jockey who previously departed Downsound over issues with his baby mama Ishawna.

“I think my Rebel Salute performance prompted Joe (Bogdanovich) to want to book Foota Hype for Sumfest. He was there. I saw him before I went on stage,” Foota Hype said. “We never spoke to each other because as you know, we’re not on talking terms. But I think the music did a greater job than personal egos and personal feelings and vengeance against each other. The music override all a that.”

Foota Hype added that the promoter wanted him for the Reggae Sumfest street dance and the main stage, but he was already booked for an event on July 19th, so he will only be able to do one night. The selector will be performing at the Sumfest street dance at the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay on July 15th.

Reggae Sumfest organizer, Joe Bogdanovich, who is also the head of Downsound Records, says it was vital for him to put personal feelings aside for the good of the music. He noted that Scatta Burrell, whom Foota Hype previously had issues with over Ishawna, encouraged the booking.

“Foota is hype, you know,” Joe said. “He’s an unusually exceptional person who is very talented, and the reason why he’s on this show is because his work speaks for itself. Music is above personal feelings for me.”

Read More


Dalton Harris will be safe at Sumfest – Bogdanovich assures artiste that there is much love for him in Jamaica

April 04, 2019
Dalton Harris
Dalton Harris

Following an Instagram post by Jamaican X Factor winner Dalton Harris yesterday, CEO of Downsound Entertainment and chief organiser of Reggae Sumfest, Joe Bogdanovich has assured him that no harm will come his way when he makes his Sumfest debut this July.

A story published by THE STAR last month announcing Harris’ addition to the line-up, was met with strong opposition from some social media users who believe he is not yet ready for the ‘greatest reggae show on Earth’. Some even hinted that he might be bottled during his performance.

Having caught wind of some of those comments, Harris, who is scheduled to perform on the festival’s night two, yesterday expressed concerns about gracing the Sumfest stage.

“Today is one of those days. One of those days where I recalibrate my mind and reflect … I always get a little depressed when going back to Jamaica just a little. Working on that. I love my country and my new home also. There is so much love in the world for me and my music. I always feel and acknowledge that but the hate is there too,” a part of the post read.

Harris called himself a “self-made entrepreneur and entity that is not doing bad at all” and hinted that he was not fazed, even when “I get the hate and the remarks of people planning on stoning me at Reggae Sumfest or calling me some name that couldn’t be more inaccurate to who I am”.

“The love from my fans worldwide is incredible. This is bigger than the social media bullying and me,” the post read.


Speaking with THE STAR about Harris’ post, Bogdanovich said that he would be contacting Harris himself, to assure him that he will not be hurt in any way when he graces the Sumfest stage.

“I care about every artiste on Sumfest and I make a personal representation just to make sure everything in their sphere is very positive, safe and good. I do that personally because the artistes are our trophies and we have to protect them and give them all our love and support,” he said.

Bogdanovich explained that for more than two decades, Sumfest has prided itself on providing a safe environment for both performers and patrons.

“Reggae Sumfest is a very secure festival. The vibes are so strong and so positive that nobody thinks in a negative space, that just doesn’t happen. This year, the type of production the fans are going to see is going to be overwhelmingly positive. It’s going to be awestruck, so none of that kind of thing (stoning or bottling) is going to infiltrate the show,” he said. “I just want Dalton to know that there’s a lot of love here for him in Jamaica.”

Bogdanovich said that the team has received many positive calls and emails from people expressing their delight at seeing Harris perform, many of them for the first time live, especially after his X Factor success.

“I know there are some hateful people around on the journey to stardom but you just have to believe in yourself and keep focused. I know that he’s a great artiste and he’s going to give a great show,” he said.


Reggae Sumfest Cruises Into Trinidad For Launch Party

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 
From left: Alicia Cabrera, Bunji Garlin,
Fayann Lyons and Joe Bogdanovich at the Trinidad launch of Reggae Sumfest.
Reggae Sumfest officially kicked off their launch tour on the twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago last Thursday, on-board the popular Ocean Pelican Cruise.

The first Sumfest launch to be held in a Caribbean country outside of Jamaica, the filled-to-capacity cruise event set sail from Anchorage, Chaguaramas, at 8:30 p.m., after a short programme, which included presentations by Alicia Cabrera, senior marketing manager of Caribbean Airlines; Camile Glenister, deputy director tourism marketing for Jamaica; and of course Joe Bogdanovich, chairman of Downsound Entertainment and owner of Reggae Sumfest.

The Sumfest boss said he was committed to advancing the unity of the region through music. “Caribbean people love reggae and soca and there is a strong unifying power in that.”

The launch party continued until 11 p.m. with guests partying to the musical stylings of Trinidad-based DJ Trevlyn, who showed excellent skills in his selection of reggae music mixed with a touch of soca. The energy and vibe of the event was on continuous high for the duration of the cruise.

This event is the first of four launch events for Sumfest 2019. In April, festival organisers will host the customary New York launch in Brooklyn. The Sumfest MoBay launch is scheduled for May, while the final event will be held in June in Kingston.

In addition to the launch activity, Caribbean Airlines marked its partnership with Reggae Sumfest by adding the Reggae Sumfest logo on either side of the nose of a 737 aircraft. The official unveiling was done the day before the launch at the airline’s hangar. All agreed that this initiative to launch in Trinidad will not only mark a solid partnership with the airline but will also open the doors to increase the visitor arrivals from the region to Jamaica while encouraging the unifying force that is already in motion between the musical cultures of Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

Festival organisers stated in a release that anticipation for Sumfest 2019 is “sky high”, with the first set of early bird ticket flash sales, held in February, being completely sold out in less than 48 hours. They upped the excitement ante earlier this month when it was announced that the event would be headlined by reggae artistes Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx.

Sumfest 2019 rolls out an impressive schedule of events leading up to the greatly anticipated concert nights on July 19 and 20. The week of events is expected to kick off on July 14 with the Sumfest Mawnin Medz beach party and followed by the Street Dance, All White Party, all black Blitz Party, Global Sound Clash, as well as the Reggae Sumfest Symposium.

Read More


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.

Read More


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

Josef Bogdanovich, owner of Reggae SumfestJosef 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.

Read More

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.

Read More


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.

Read More



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.”