Dalton Harris will be safe at Sumfest – Bogdanovich assures artiste that there is much love for him in Jamaica
by Shereita Grizzle – Staff Reporter
April 04, 2019
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.
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.