Mawnin’ Medz on Sunday, July 14th at Tropical Bliss Beach in Montego Bay is the kick-off breakfast party in what is shaping up to be a stellar week of events leading up to the Main Nights for Sumfest 2019.
Both the Touchdown King Stylo G and the Soca Monarch Skinny Fabulous will provide epic entertainment at the gorgeous venue.
Spinning music to keep everyone dancing from 6 am to 1 pm will be Mobay’s own Crazy Neil, along with DJ Courtney, Jigga and Antsman.
The dress code is beach chic; gates open at 6am. It’s brunch inclusive and will have plenty of options for purchase at the bar.
Royalton’s Stayce Ingram (left), Island Strains’ Christopher Gordon and his wife Maria, were spotted out and about with the effervescent Richard Ferdinand of the Tryall Club (right).
Unlike previous years where the launch of Reggae Sumfest took place inside a conference room or an amphitheatre in Montego Bay, the promoters took to the beach for the 2019 launch of the Reggae music festival.
The stretch of sparkling white sand of the Iberostar resort in Rose Hall, formed the perfect setting, delighting the scores of Montegonians and their counterparts from Kingston and other places who streamed into the venue for an evening characterised by delicious Jamaican faire, dancehall music and a cocktail bar, where bartenders served up juices and concoctions made from some of the most sought-after top shelf liquors.
Head honcho, Joseph Bagdanovich of Downsound Entertainment, was his usual upbeat self, heaping praises during his address on Sumfest founders Johnny Gourzong, Godfrey Dyer, Robert Russell, Mickey Morris, whom he said, along with their other collaborators made a “great team”.
“The joy it brings to fans across the world is more than enough to make you want to do it all over again as long as you can, and for this I give thanks,” Bagdanovich said.
Bogdanovich also disclosed that a new section dubbed the Golden Triangle, will now become a feature of the festival, which according to Scatta Burell, would host the festival’s most honoured guests.
“It’s gonna be at the top of the top; it’s gonna hold maybe 50, 60, 70 people and it’s gonna be the bomb,” Bogdanovich said.
Reggae Sumfest will be staged in Montego Bay from July 14 to 20. The event gets underway with Mawnin Medz Beach Party, marshalled by Stylo G and Skinny Fabulous at Tropical Beach, followed by the Street Dance at the Old Hospital Park on the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard on Monday, closing out with the likes of Buju Banton and Beres Hammond on Saturday, July 20.
“Veterans support International Reggae and World Music Awards – IRAWMA”
by K’Shema Francis May 13th, 2019
Industry players and mostly veteran entertainers turned out Saturday night at the 37th International Reggae and World Music Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in #Kingston. Reggae Sumfest was named concert of the year, Notnice scored Record Producer of the Year, and Stone Love took the title for Best Sound System or Deejay.
RitaMarley, Minister Hon. Olivia “Babsy”Grange, Freddie Mcgregor, The Heptones, Stone Love’s Fada Pow, Copeland Forbes, Clyde McKenzie, Capleton, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Queen Ifrica, Nadine Sutherland, former dancehall Queen Carlene, Jahvinci, and Downsound Records‘ Josef Bogdanovich were some of the celebs in attendance.
Koffee who hosted the awards along with Tony-Rebel, won three of the four categories she was nominated in. She walked away with trophies for Best Female Vocalist, Best New Entertainer, and Best Teen Entertainer.
Bounty Killer copped the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award for his work through his Bounty Foundation. During his acceptance speech, Bounty Killer urged his peers to support IRAWMA. While Beenie Man copped the Award for Best Caribbean Entertainer.
Spice walked away with female Deejay of the Year, and Wayne Marshall’s Glory To God was named Song of the Year.
Incarcerated by not silent, Vybz Kartel was named Best Male Dancehall Deejay of the Year. He also copped the title for Best Song for Underwater.
Popcaan nabbed the Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year and his album Forever, was named Best Album.
Freddie McGregor took the award for Most Consistent Entertainer, Chronixx was named Most Cultural or Educational Entertainer and Cherry Natural copped the Mutabaruka award for Best Poet or Spoken Word Entertainer.
Tony Rebel, Mutabaruka and Boris Gardner were inducted in the IRAWMA Hall of Fame.
Live performances came from Capleton, Spice, D’Angel and others.
Under the theme “TheReggae50”, the International Reggae and World Music Awards closed at around minutes after 12. Read More
Buju Banton (right) performs with the legendary Beres Hammond at the Long Walk to Freedom concert in March.
When it was announced that Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx were the headliners for this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest, the reaction from the public spoke volumes as to the amount of support the festival would receive this year.
With just over two months to go before the event gets under way, checks with several hotels in the parish of St James have revealed that most of the rooms have been fully booked until the end of July.
Reggae Sumfest’s chief organiser, Joe Bogdanovich, believes there is a direct link between the festival’s line-up and the sold-out hotels.
Pointing out that ticket sales have been going well, Bogdanovich said that he thinks the Beres, Buju and Chronixx combination is one of the main reasons hotels have been booked out this early in the season.
“Reggae Sumfest is usually a sold-out show. Hotels in the Montego Bay area usually see an increase in bookings around the period the show is being held, but this year, I know for sure the demand has been greater,” he said.
“I am not surprised some people can’t get hotel rooms right now, because based on the ticket sales, the demand for the show this year has been overwhelming. It is the best I’ve seen it since I took over the festival. I think the B.B.C line-up has a lot to do with it. Beres, Buju and Chronixx are three of the biggest artistes on the local music scene, and I think people really want to see them in action,” he said, adding that Beenie Man and Bounty Killer are expected to give legendary performances on the Friday night.
According to Bogdanovich, tickets for this year’s festival are going so well that he and his team are thinking of adding another section to the grounds to meet demands.
“I am now thinking of building a whole new seating area, and it’s gonna be called the Golden Triangle. It will be for the more luxurious crowd. But all that will be discussed in another week or less because we are in the designing phase right now. I think we’re attracting more people this year than any other year, and we want to be prepared for that.”
Bogdanovich’s points are supported by statistics presented by Delano Seiveright, senior adviser/strategist in the Ministry of Tourism.
Seiveright told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has already seen increases in the number of hotel bookings for this year compared to the same period last year. He also said there has been an increase in the number of tourists who have booked flights to the island this summer.
“It is important to note that seat capacity for the destination this summer is 1,400,371 which is 108,872 or 8.4% more than 2018. The biggest growth is from the United States, which shows an increase of over 100,000 seats for the summer period (May through August 2019), compared with the same period in 2018,” he said.
“Jamaica has been experiencing very strong growth in tourist arrivals in recent times. This as a result of the multiple strategies pursued by the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies. Sumfest this year is mega, and already many hotels and other accommodations are reporting very high bookings, some of which is attributed to Reggae Sumfest.”
And for those who are yet to book hotel rooms, Seiveright is encouraging them to explore the Airbnb option and look beyond Montego Bay for accommodation.
Ebony Magazine named five music festivals staged in Caribbean countries that should not be missed. Music lovers are likely to know about events like Coachella and Made in America, but fans who are looking for a unique experience can travel to the Caribbean and enjoy the excellent performances and star power of stars like Buju Banton and John Legend. Among these top five events was Jamaica’s annual Reggae Sumfest, which is a favorite of reggae and dancehall fans. Held in Montego Bay, Sumfest will be staged from July 14 through 20, 209. Performers at Sumfest in 2019 will include legends like Spragga Benz and Elephant Man along with the star of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta Spice. Past stagings of Sumfest have included reggae and dancehall icons Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killa, Mavado, Gyptian, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Missy Elliott among others.
Other Caribbean music festivals included in Ebony’s Magazine Top 5 are as follows.
The Music Festival in St. Lucia, which is one of the largest I the region. It runs from May 4 through 12, 2019, and is in its third year. It will feature Russell Hall, Ledisi, Etienne Charles and Patrick Bartley.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019, New York, NY & Jamaica – Downsound Entertainment, organizers of Reggae Sumfest, revealed dancehall legends Beenie Man and Bounty Killer would be performing together on the Sumfest stage on Festival Night 1, July 19, 2019. “Beenie and Bounty are icons of Reggae Sumfest. Known for their high energy, witty lyrics, and outstanding stage presence, they will perform tune for tune, singing songs from different genres through the ages. They will show everyone the skill and talent that’s kept them at the top of the dancehall scene for over two decades,” said Cordell “Skatta” Burrell, of Downsound Entertainment. He was speaking at the New York launch of Reggae Sumfest held at the awesome Bogart House venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn recently.Sumfest boss, Joe Bogdanovich reconfirmed that Reggae Sumfest 2019 will continue to be the most awesome reggae show on earth and fans would be entertained as never before with a week of fabulous parties, outstanding artists, all in all a fantastic feast of Jamaican music, food and culture!The full line up of events and artists for this year’s festival was announced during the New York launch which included brief but insightful messages from Sara Young, Airport Manager for the presenting sponsor Caribbean Airlines, and Philip Rose, Regional Director USA for the Jamaica Tourism Board. Both expressed their confidence in the fact that flights and rooms are expected to be full for Reggae Sumfest. Ms Young also revealed special fares were being offered on the airline to travel to Jamaica for the festival. Spragga Benz wrapped up the formalities and led the crowd into a scintillating performance, which thrilled the crowd with some of his new releases and old favorites. Spragga Benz will be featured on Festival Night 1, July 19.
The launch was a true Jamaican style party, with pulsating dancehall and reggae rhythms and Jamaican food including jerk chicken, mannish water and traditional sweets such as gizzadas. “This year our tagline is “Come Experience our Culture” explained Karla Jankee of DownSound Entertainment. “And so in every event we want to make sure that some part of the Jamaican culture is represented for our visitors to enjoy. It was very important to make sure this New York launch was also representative of that,” she said. The vibe was kept high with DJ Madout expertly weaving between reggae and dancehall and between old and new, while also keeping the Caribbean spirit alive with a touch of soca.
Happy with the success of the launch, the Sumfest team will return to the island for the celebration of carnival by Reggae Sumfest with their costumed band Dancehall Queen.
Patrons can access updates on the line-up, tickets and events on the official website www.reggaesumfest.com and @reggaesumfest for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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.”
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.”
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.”
The ‘dapper’ Reggae Sumfest Owner Josef Bogdanovich is honoured for his major contribution to Jamaica’s entertainment industry.
Illustrious guests gathered at The Gleaner’s North Street offices in Kingston yesterday for the first of three category luncheons to recognise this year’s recipients of the RJRGLEANER Honour Awards. Recipients, aglow with pride, exuded humility as they took the spotlight, reflecting on the year that was and offering a peak into the future.
Jamaican superstars Beres Hammond (left) and Beenie Man at Reggae Sumfest 2018.
It has been dubbed ‘The Greatest Reggae Show on Earth’ and for years, July has seen persons from home and abroad trek to Montego Bay, St James, for Reggae Sumfest, an experience like no other.
First held in 1993, Sumfest, over the years, presented patrons with three nights of live stage shows, namely, Dancehall Night and two international nights.
In 2016, Chairman of Downsound Entertainment Josef James Bogdanovich took over Reggae Sumfest and set out to revamp the show into what he called a music festival, featuring a week of parties and activities and a two-night show dubbed ‘Main Festival Nights One and Two’, with mainly dancehall and reggae artistes.
“We came up with the idea that we do have superstars here, we do have international stars here and that’s called reggae music and dancehall music. A lot of people at that time said, ‘That’s not going to work, you need international acts’. We did pretty good that year, 2016; the attendance was a lot higher than it was in the previous year and we got a lot of international fan base. It was a successful entry into the market,” Bogdanovich told The Gleaner.
He said that in 2017, the attendance in the venue doubled that of 2016, while the online viewers tripled. According to Bogdanovich, several million viewers looked at the Sumfest archives over the following weeks, and this was very encouraging for him.
“And then last year (2018), we kept raising the bar with production. A lot of people who came there last year said that they hadn’t been to Sumfest in, like, 10 years and coming back, they all enjoyed themselves.
“But we have always had international artistes there and we always have our eyes open for international acts, but we have got to make a business sense out of it and we certainly support our music, our festival and with promoting the youth.
“This year, we will be promoting a lot of the females and the younger artistes than ever before, and we have some good bookings right now,” said Bogdanovich.
Against that background, Reggae Sumfest 2018 is the recipient of this year’s RJRGLEANER Honour Awards in the entertainment category, for the success of its strategy to present an all-Jamaican line-up for the festival last year.
It is an award which Bogdanovich said was unexpected and one that he really appreciates.
“I was surprised to even hear about it. I have been pretty busy, and I think it’s great to be acknowledged. Acknowledgements don’t really come easy here in Jamaica and I think it’s just part of my journey here in Jamaica, and I think it’s wonderful. I am very thankful,” said Bogdanovich.
The Downsound boss said that while he is a big supporter of doing business in Jamaica, and has quite a few investments here, it’s not an easy place to do business, but his passion for the music and for Jamaica keeps him going.
“There’s opportunity here in Jamaica, (but) education has got to get better. The violence has to come down, (and) people have to understand that we have to get this place stable, and it’s getting better. I think things are a lot better; the economy is getting better and more people are working.
“There is always a challenge in the concert business here. There are very few concerts going on and I know that a lot of people are trying to get back into the concert business.
“It’s not an easy business, and people are fickle and they are not easy to please, but we really are champions and we love reggae music and we love the culture. Here at Downsound, we are very passionate about the music and what we represent, and it’s exciting,” said Bogdanovich.
He has a clear vision for the island that he now calls home.
According to Bogdanovich, he wants to see the continued growth of reggae and dancehall music, with young people contributing to the country instead of migrating.
“The way to get them to come back is to give them some real opportunity, and it’s hard because it’s a small country and the dollar is not worth as much as it used to be. It is just a hard struggle, so it’s the family structure that has to be strengthened.
“The reason why I think Jamaica can do so well in terms of the future is because Jamaicans are very competitive, and they are smart and they are overachievers, some of them,” declared Bogdanovich.
He added that he has a clear vision for the latest chapter in his life in Jamaica.
“I am trying to make a mark, trying to give opportunity to people, to give them some opportunity with good business practise, and do as much as I can for reggae music and for dancehall and for the artistes’ community. That’s what I’m interested in and that’s my vision for the future,” said Bogdanovich.
ON THE AWARD: “I think it’s great to be acknowledged. Acknowledgements don’t really come easy here in Jamaica and I think it’s just part of my journey here in Jamaica and I think it’s wonderful. I am very thankful.”
VISION FOR JAMAICA: “The reason why I think Jamaica can do so well in terms of the future is because Jamaicans are very competitive, and they are smart and they are overachievers, some of them.”