Tag: DownsoundEntertainment

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Reggae Sumfest throws launch party in MoBay

May 17, 2019

With a raging bonfire giving a silvery look to the beautiful white sand, and the full moon overhead adding a golden glow, it was all fun as locals mixed and mingled alongside the curious guests at the western city’s official launch of Downsound Entertainment’s Reggae Sumfest 2019 at the Iberostar Grande hotel in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday night.

“It is going to be a fantastic festival and I am really looking forward to giving the patron a fantastic experience,” said Downsound Entertainment’s CEO, Joe Bogdanovich, who acquired the Reggae Sumfest franchise in 2016.

The five-day festival blasts off on Sunday, July 14, and will see the likes of Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer among the heavyweights performing.

Five of the artistes booked for the 2019 edition of Reggae Sumfest delivered sneak previews of what to expect when they grace the main stage of the reggae festival in July.

Shauna Chynn showed a lot of ‘skin,’ and created a nice buzz as she delivered Independent and Control Button. Shane E was velvet-smooth, dishing out, Bad Mindand Get a Fight; while Keniel Merital was vocally powerful in unleashing, Money Nuffand My Money.

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Reggae Sumfest Mawnin’ Medz


Tickets are available on Reggae Sumfest’s 
Eventbrite Ticket Website

Reggae Sumfest Mawnin’ Medz

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.

Reggae Sumfest event info at festival website.

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“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.
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May 10, 2019
Buju Banton (right) performs with the legendary Beres Hammond at the Long Walk to Freedom concert in March.
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.

TICKETS GOING

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.

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Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest Ranked among Top 5 Caribbean Music Festival by Ebony Magazine

Reggae Sumfest 2018 - Reggae Night Photos by Steve James

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.

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Grace Kitchens ‘Jerkin Tings’ Up At Reggae Sumfest

Published:Friday | July 27, 2018 | 

 Nadine Sterling, lover of good food and good music, found both at the Grace Kitchens Cafe at Reggae Sumfest 2018.

The Grace Kitchens Cafe jerked ‘tings’ up at the 2018 staging of Reggae Sumfest. The food court, officially sponsored by Grace Foods, brought the perfect mix of delicious food and positive vibes to the festival with their mouth-watering menu offerings at the Grace Kitchens Cafe.

The hardest decision was what to choose with a menu that offered something for everybody and included Grace Foil-roasted Jerk Fish, Grace Jerk BBQ ribs, Grace Jerk Chicken Pasta, Grace Sweet Corn on the Cob with Jerk Butter and for dessert, Grace Buttered Almond Bread Pudding served with caramel and crushed almonds.

Those who visited the Cafe on Dancehall night might have even run into Artiste and Grace Brand Ambassador Ding Dong, who stopped by with his Ravers crew to get enjoy the food and fun during the greatest reggae show on earth.

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Damian Marley had the Sumfest crowd hooked with lively performance

Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley had the Catherine Hall crowd hooked for just over one hour with a energetic performance at Reggae Sumfest on Sunday morning,

It was Marley at his best as he engaged the crowd constantly and had audience members lapping up every minute of his set which also saw him showing off his fitness with knee lifts as he celebrated his 40th birthday,

Numbering in the tens of thousands, the Catherine Hall crowd sang loudly to almost all of Junior Gong’s presentations that included samples from hits by his father, late reggae legend Bob Marley.

Marley’s son Elijah perfoms ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ in tribute to his father who turned 40 on Saturday.

Marley’s performance also included songs from his last album ‘Stony Hill’ which earlier this year beat an illustrious field to cop the Reggae Grammy. It was not limited though, with music from his previous works.

The audience was also treated to a touching moment when Marley’s son Elijah joined him on stage and sang Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’, dedicating the song to his father, whose birthday was on Saturday.

Marley had opened his set with ‘Here We Go’ from the Stony Hill album before going into his combination with Skrillex, ‘Make It Bun Dem’, ‘Set Up Shop’, ‘Ghetto Youth’ and another combination, ‘Beautiful’ with Bobby Brown.

Marley would then talk about the healing benefits of ganja before doing ‘Medication’, ‘The Mission’, ‘Police And Thief Inna Shoot’ and ‘Love And Unity’.

Kabaka Pyramid joined Junior Gong on stage.

His father’s ‘War’ and ‘Exodus’ would follow before ‘Everybody Wants To Be Somebody’ and ‘A Man Is Just A Man’ .

Kabaka Pyramid joined Marley on stage for their combination, ‘Kontraband’, after which ‘Junior Gong’ performed ‘Living It Up’, a song celebrating his father’s victory over poverty and inspiring others in similar circumstances to do the same.

He once again had the audience singing along to ‘Road To Zion’ and the ever-popular ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ with which he closed his well-received set.

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 JTB takes Reggae Sumfest to the world

The stream presented a curated feed live from Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, featuring main stage performances along with features, artiste and media interviews, all hosted live by popular television host Sakina Deer.

The JTB Live Stream is hosted on the Visit Jamaica Facebook page, which has over 940,000 followers around the globe, JTB said on Monday.

“This year we wanted to give our audience a taste of what the greatest reggae festival on earth is like in a virtual setting,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism. “We know that there are lots of folks who for whatever reason could not be in Montego Bay, so we are using this platform to showcase not just our music but the culture, fashion, food and signature vibe of the Reggae Sumfest.”

Featured on the stream were interviews with artistes like Argentinian reggae sensation Dread Mar I, D Major, Press Kay, Yanique the Curvy Diva, along with CEO of Downsound Entertainment Josef Bogdanovich.

AdvertisementJTB said the successful Facebook Live broadcast also continued for the second night of the show, capturing audiences around the world to witness the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.”

During the broadcast, JTB said Deer welcomed Reggae Sumfest performing artists J Boog, Keznamdi, Naomi Cowan and D’Yani to the JTB booth for exclusive interviews, giving viewers an exciting behind the scenes look at the festival featuring real-time updates from the performers themselves.

Other notable VIP guests included Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security and Mitch Watson, president of the United Nations Association of Jamaica and sprint phenom Briana Williams.

Local and international members of the media also joined the JTB to conduct interviews with artists, sponsors and event organizers.

These included Jamaica Gleaner’s Janet Silvera, Sean Kelly from Canadian radio station Mix 97 FM, and Reggae Sumfest Inspire Award-recipient Patricia Meschino from Billboard, JTB said.

Building on its success from the first night, JTB said its booth attracted hundreds of attendees on the closing night of the festival, and captivated audiences across Jamaica and major United States markets through its “dynamic, all-encompassing Facebook Live experience.”

Posted 12:00 am, July 24, 2018
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Twenty three years romance with Reggae Sumfest

July 20, 2018
Italian Steve Giant (left) poses with dancehall ace Shabba Ranks at a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest.

When Reggae Sunsplash folded in Montego Bay after its 1992 staging, Italian newspaper publisher Steve Giant, a loyal fan of that festival, was left a disappointed man, as making the annual trek to Jamaica had become an integral part of his life.

However, Giant’s disappointment was short-lived as in 1995, he learnt that Reggae Sumfest had replaced Reggae Sunsplash on the Montego Bay entertainment calendar and since then, he has been travelling to Jamaica for the past 23 years to satisfy his passion for reggae music and his growing love for Jamaica.

“My first Reggae Sumfest experience was in 1995. Basically, it’s been 23 years without interruption,” said Giant.

Over the years, it has not only been Reggae Sumfest that has been pulling the big Italian, who also manages a radio station, the Radio Base Popolare Network, which broadcasts reggae from morning to evening.

“I love the music, the parties, the beach… the Jamaican way of life style. That’s why I come back every year,” said Giant.

“Unfortunately, there’s no reggae festival like Reggae Sumfest in Italy … we had a big one, but they moved it to Spain.”

Despite not having a major reggae festival in Italy, Giant says reggae is nonetheless quite big in his homeland. He sees his popular magazine, RASTA SNOB, which he has been producing for more than 30 years, as one of the vehicles driving the growth of the music.

While each new year at Reggae Sumfest gives giant fresh “emotions, sensations, vibrations,” there are some special memories that have not dimmed over time.

“Definitely Shabba Ranks arriving by helicopter,” said Giant, in reflecting on Shabba’s spectacular arrival by helicopter at the venue back in the 1990s. “I also enjoy the clash in music between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and the many international artistes who have duet with the Jamaican top artistes.”

Like many fans of Reggae Sumfest, Giant is mightily impressive by this year’s star-studded line-up and has identified several acts he can’t wait to see.

“I am looking forward to seeing Damian Marley, Cham, Capleton, Sizzla, Assassin, Beres Hammond, Raging Fyah,” said Giant.