Tag: JoeBogdanovich

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PM Hails Successful Reggae Sumfest
ENTERTAINMENT
JULY 23, 2019
Story Highlights
  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the successful staging of Reggae Sumfest 2019 is a powerful endorsement of Jamaica’s rich musical history.
  • Speaking to JIS News at the show’s final night on Saturday (July 20), Mr. Holness said he was very impressed with the huge turnout of both local and international patrons.
  • “This is the biggest Sumfest ever. Just looking back at Reggae Sumfest [shows] that I have attended… even dating back to Reggae Sunsplash… I have never seen this level of crowd… and the atmosphere is also great…,” he said.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the successful staging of Reggae Sumfest 2019 is a powerful endorsement of Jamaica’s rich musical history.
Speaking to JIS News at the show’s final night on Saturday (July 20), Mr. Holness said he was very impressed with the huge turnout of both local and international patrons.
“This is the biggest Sumfest ever. Just looking back at Reggae Sumfest [shows] that I have attended… even dating back to Reggae Sunsplash… I have never seen this level of crowd… and the atmosphere is also great…,” he said.
“And when you are getting the views and the statistics from what is being live-streamed and broadcast on other media it is clear that this music festival, celebrating reggae, has been taken to another level,” he added.
Mr. Holness praised the event’s promoter, Businessman Joe Bogdanovich, noting that he “has taken the time to understand the product… to invest in the product… to be patient with the product” and is now reaping the benefits.
“His investment… has paid off. I think from here on it can only get bigger,” he said.
He noted that the performers used the platform given to them “to send a very powerful message about Jamaica’s art and culture”, noting that not a single international act was used to boost the appeal of the event.
The Prime Minister said that the success of Reggae Sumfest reinforces the fact that music continues to be an important value-added component of the tourism sector.
“When people come to our country they travel to gain an experience, and it is the interaction of the natural environment… the built environment… and the culture that gives that distinct experience. If the experience is good, they will want to come back again and again, and that is what we want to create. This festival is a very good example of the experience of our culture,” he pointed out.
For his part, Director of Tourism, Donovan White, said Reggae Sumfest 2019 has exceeded all expectations and painted Jamaica “in a very good light”.
“It has been an amazing experience, the performances, the production, the execution, the quality, the ability to pull Jamaicans out to enjoy Jamaican performers has been just unbelievable,” he beamed.
“I don’t believe we have ever had a Sumfest of this magnitude as it relates to patrons…,” he told JIS News.
Mr. White said the event’s success has now positioned Jamaica to build on the narrative of being the entertainment destination of the Caribbean, adding that it also provides an opportunity for “us to put on 21 days of constant and consistent events that cannot be found anywhere else in the region”.
“We believe, from early estimates, that the impact of Sumfest this year is no less than a billion dollars in Montego Bay’s economy,” Mr. White said.
“We have seen about 10,000 visitors coming in [over] just a week for Reggae Sumfest,” he added.
Reggae Sumfest was held from July 14 to 20 in Montego Bay, and was highlighted by a two-night stage show on July 19 and 20 at the Catherine Hall complex.
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was a major sponsor of the event.
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Reggae Sumfest Generates $1 Billion Jamaican Dollars for the Montego Bay Area & Country!
Jul 25, 2019  Latest Reggae News

The Team at Downsound Entertainment achieved their goals with making Reggae Sumfest a hugely attended international event! Anyone who wasn’t taking Reggae music & musicians seriously before – take note – the entire island has financially benefited from the Caribbean’s largest Reggae Festival that took place July 14-20, 2019. Several news channels has reported this figure, which was originally projected to be around $12 Million USD, it’s now closer to $75 Million USD. The hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers and businesses around Mobay were lively with an enthusiastic crowd and the 5 Pre-Events before Festival Nights 1 & 2 helped keep everyone in an irie mood for the entire week.

As evident from the overhead drone shots, the festival was packed with locals and the 10,000+ that flew in specifically for Sumfest 2019. Downsound Entertainment also provided free live-streaming on their Youtube Channel and DSE TV for the entire shows on Friday & Saturday night. The Livestreams were also highly attended with over 10K international viewers all joining in on the good vibes and stellar performances.

If you missed it or want to watch again all of the performances are on their channel HERE https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHWqekyGOTkdu8IlcapvJSw/videos

For more news on Reggae Sumfest visit: https://reggaesumfest.com/

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Reggae Sumfest Generates $1 Billion Jamaican Dollars for the Montego Bay Area & Country!

The Team at Downsound Entertainment have definitely achieved their goals with making Reggae Sumfest a hugely attended international event! Anyone who wasn’t taking Reggae music & musicians seriously before – take note – the entire island has financially benefited from the Caribbean’s largest Reggae Festival that took place July 14-20, 2019.

Several news channels have reported this figure, which was originally projected to be around $12 Million USD, it’s now closer to $75 Million USD. The hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers and businesses around Mobay were lively with an enthusiastic crowd and the 5 Pre-Events before Festival Nights 1 & 2 helped keep everyone in an irie mood for the entire week.

As evident from the overhead drone shots, the festival was packed with locals and the 10,000+ that flew in specifically for Sumfest 2019.

Downsound Entertainment also provided free live-streaming on their Youtube Channel and DSE TV for the entire shows on Friday & Saturday night.

The Livestreams were also highly attended with over 10K international viewers all joining in on the good vibes and stellar performances.

If you missed it or want to watch again all of the performances are on their channel HERE https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHWqekyGOTkdu8IlcapvJSw/videos

For more news on Reggae Sumfest visit: https://reggaesumfest.com/
Original Article from Reggae Festival Guide

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Caribbean Airlines’ Maiden Sumfest
Saturday, July 27, 2019

On its maiden flight as title sponsor of Reggae Sumfest, Caribbean Airlines hosted a gaggle of guests with interests ranging from government and business to style and academia, making its VIP Lounge the hotspot destination at Catherine Hall.

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Yes, Jamaica is a real place. That’s a question that commonly pops up on social media because some of the things you see about Jamaica…you can only see in Jamaica. And only understand it in a Jamaican context. I am biased by birth, but I truly feel that the island of Jamaica is magnificent for so many reasons.

A place with beautiful weather, delicious food, the most charismatic people you’ll ever meet, gorgeous landscapes, a tourism industry like no other, a unique style of music that has transcended borders and inspired a multitude of sub-genres within the genre, and an abundance of talent performing, managing, and maintaining the industry that makes this island experience one that millions continue to return to. Reggae Sumfest is one night of the year where Jamaica has the opportunity to put this talent on full display and remind the world just how powerful and influential reggae music is.

Downsound Entertainment, in association with sponsors including Grace Foods, Pepsi Jamaica, Jamaica Tourism, Mastercard, Caribbean Airlines Wray & Nephew, and many other top brands and businesses presented the annual Reggae Sumfest music festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica this weekend, after a week of pre-show festivities. A symposium, social media awards, a sound clash, and themed parties helped to get visitors and locals in a reggae frame of mind before the two nights of performances began.

My experience with Reggae Sumfest has been top notch, and I continue to be impressed by how this machine runs. From the accreditation process, to the online updates, an impeccable social media campaign, and outstanding live coverage during the festival…this weekend has proven to be a master class in event production and entertainment, and I am using this opportunity to take notes on how a large-scale event should run. Somehow, that is what seduced me most about this year’s presentation: how seamless it was.

Surely, Sumfest is not without its issues. Like any event planner knows, what happens on the outside and what happens in real-time with check lists and day-to-day execution is probably quite different. That being said, knowing how complex an event of this size and nature must be, I truly believe that Reggae Sumfest continues to be an essential part of the many highlights of Brand Jamaica that circulate around the globe spreading good vibes and positive messaging about our wonderful country.

I feel proud. Truly. Despite the awesome performances, and the new additions to the Jamaican entertainment story (Friday night with no Squash, and Buju’s return to the festival), I feel proud to be of Jamaican descent. Proud to see the all-Jamaican lineup of artists, and the supporting cast around them like the marketers, the reporters, and the various ambassadors. It felt like success. It felt like a home run. It felt like the perfect packaging of a culture and environment that so many of us love dearly. It felt like Jamaican excellence.

I learned a lot about Sumfest this year. Although it has existed for over two decades, with Sunsplash preceding it: this is no new occurrence. In fact, festivals like Sumfest, and Rebel Salute, and other special events have been drawing specialty crowds to Jamaica for years. This particular year, however, I learned a lot of great facts about the Sumfest brand and what is has become in 2019.

For example, I listened to a Jamaican PR Strategist discuss the changes made to Sumfest so that now Jamaican artists are highlighted, without relying on American/foreign stars to headline the show. I learned about the restructuring of the event to reduce the festival to two nights, yet still providing a full week of warm-up activities to accommodate those who want to enjoy a few days of celebration before the show.

I was able to hear what the Sumfest administrators thought about elements of Jamaican culture like the sound clash, and how reggae lovers from outside of the Caribbean are studying and indulging in the culture, and mastering aspects of it in their own unique ways. As someone that was born and raised in Canada, I enjoy learning about how Jamaican residents perceive their cultural impact, and am also proud to see Jamaican-Canadians like King Turbo Sound, Chelsea Stewart, and others have prominent roles in the weekend’s proceedings.

Hearing Joe Bogdanovich speak about the importance of supporting generational changes in music, and seeing it reflected in some of the performances was interesting, as was listening to his assistant and event administrator Karla Jankee discuss her multiple roles, and how they take her across the world sharing the good news of reggae. From the interviews and pre-show with Kamilah McDonald and Nikki Z, and the engaging social media narrative, Sumfest was off to a good start before it even began.

via @cstewartsings
The show opened with Toronto’s very own Chelsea Stewart backed by the Warrior Love Band, and continued to feature new acts like Mr. Chumps, Celebrity, and Ricky Tee’s. Watching them in interview and on stage, I was reminded of Rygin King and his role in last year’s Sumfest. As mentioned, “you never known who will be the next big thing.” It was interesting to see the news faces and speculate about where they may or may not be by Sumfest 2020. It’s a reminder of the constant creativity in music and the culture, and how quickly legacies are built, or in some unfortunate cases…forgotten.

Harry Toddla provided many great flashbacks, injecting a new energy to the evening from before midnight. DJ’s Liquid and Noah Powa were most definitely entertaining, bringing an element of laughter and parody, and a few impersonations. Also funny: the evening’s host.

Admittedly, I’m late to the Shauna Chin narrative, but after that performance of hers, I think I’m going to go back into blog history and see just how significant her redemption statement really was and why. I believe this may also involve pursuing the Instagram timeline of Foota Hype…and I’m 100% sure the story will be shocking, as were her outfits and her defiant lyrics.

During Shauna Controlla’s performance, my attention lingered on the Jamaican audience and their amazing method of paying extreme attention to every detail on stage, while still appearing to be quite disinterested. I remembered this from my visit to Rebel Salute earlier this year where despite witnessing some of THE most exciting performance of the night, the audience was still hesitant to exhibit extreme enjoyment.

This is one of the elements of the Jamaican spirit that I most appreciate: the ridiculously high entertainment standards, and an acute attention to detail, wardrobe, movements, and nuance. The Jamaican musical audience is probably one of the most aware–and critical–of listeners internationally. Not easily impressed, they truly make the performers work for accolades and earn their forwards.

via @bojtv
Even Munga, performing so many classics that I had to remind myself to give them another listen this weekend. The height of Munga’s career was also the height of my young party life. In a 2007 clip of Munga’s first concert in Toronto (in a mediocre video with abusively terrible audio quality that I should be embarrassed to link back to), I was quite excited to hear “Earthquake” and his other string of hits. I’m glad he has come back to the stage and resurrected his career with style.

via @loopjamaica
Also exciting for a woman of my age: seeing Spragga Benz back on stage, looking as good as ever. Full of charm. A youthful glow. Possessing that same distinguished voice that we all loved some 25 years ago. And whether he was performing “Machine Gun Kelly” (straight from the basement parties of 1995), or his latest hit “Differ”…it was a joy. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one also patiently waiting for him to remove the outer layer of clothing and remind us of how many hours he’s been putting in at the gym. He look proper.

Just before Elephant Man returned to the Sumfest stage, a switch of hosts for the evening presented the lovely Miss Kitty draped in red excitement, and a perfect match for the increase in energy that Ele brought to the venue. My artists! The ones that bring the nostalgia, the dance moves, and the good feelings that go along with each memory attached to their popular songs.

via My Jamaica Today
Elephant Man was fabulous, and everything we needed him to be. He ran. He climbed. He took off pieces of his costume armour, and he reminded us of exactly who he be. A legend of dancehall, and someone that we can always hold in high regard and look at fondly whether he’s performing a new album, or simply making us move with his original classics. We owe Elephant Man a lot. He brought us all so much joy, laughter, and, well…”energy” over the years. He is a treasure, for sure.

Agent Sasco, was excellent as per usual. He is a legend in the making, and that voice of his always reminds me that he is one of a kind. Spice: a consummate performer, with so many outfits and stage moments worth remembering. She truly is on top of her game right now, and it’s nice to see.

Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, Koffee and Chronixx. It almost goes without saying. These are artists that have all proven themselves, in various ways, to be irreplaceable icons in the reggae music industry. So much greatness, and so many great songs to accompany their existence.

With a backdrop of morning sunshine in Montego Bay, Dexta Daps, Govana, Aidonia, and a few other new artists like Shane E, Fully Bad, and Jahvillani closed out the show. As for the 6ixx Squad and Squash…unfortunately his big moment is a thing of hypothetical planning only. According to reports, the police did not approve of the profanity used by other artists, and the fact that the show was running over its permitted time…so they locked it off.

Festival Night 2 brought in a few early acts, before the highly anticipated performance from Dalton Harris took place. One thing is for sure: the man can SING. Like really, really sing. He was definitely a showman. He was for sure a little bit defensive. Dalton had a lot to prove and a lot to say, and in the end…I have to give it up for his talent, which is undeniable. He is a force.

Any appearance from Jah9 and Etana are good appearances, as far as I’m concerned. Those two woman embody grace and intelligence, and I do believe they are an amazing and necessarily element to the music scene. From the Shauna Controlla and Spice sexiness, to the conscious lyrics and messaging of Jah9 and Etana, Jamaican women were presented from all angles.

The women continued to inspire me when Protoje brought out Lila Ike and Sevana as a part of his set. In addition to featuring Jesse Royal and Sasco during his segment, he truly did shine a light on Lila and Sevana in the best ways. Solid. As they sang, as they moved, and as they shared their lyrics, I was so inspired by what they represented, again in another contrast to the previous female performers. It presented such a thorough look at womanhood, and female expression. It felt like big things were about to happen for women in the reggae, and I’m all here for it.

I fully expect Lila Ike to have a role in next year’s Sumfest. Of all the artists, she really left an impression on me as someone who truly deserves an increased in profile.

Uncle Beres. No words. The quiet Jamaican audience from the early hours immediately transformed into a most humbled collective of music lovers and fans. Hit after hit, folks sang along with Beres, cheered to Beres, and praised their artist with the utmost respect and appreciation. A living legend and someone a true reggae fan can never, ever tire of. Beres Hammond was a complete pleasure to watch, as always.

Romain Virgo had another poignant moment of the night, when the young and beautiful Teshae Silvera joined him on stage to sing her cover of Romain’s song calling out child abuse. “You dutty man! You dutty man! Leave the people pickney dem alone!” she sang, to one of the biggest forwards of the night. This angel left an impression on many, and when I first glimpsed her Instagram page she only had 60 followers. I most definitely expect this to be a different situation by tomorrow, now that her handle @Teshae_Silvera is being circulated.

Christopher Martin was excellent. He is always excellent, and in the second-most anticipated appearance of Buju Banton in nearly a decade…he returned to the Sumfest stage to an equally warm reception as his first post-incarceration show. What’s not to love about Buju? He is embedded in our hearts, and it is still great to live in a world where we can see him on road. Also a treat: his new song Steppa was also released this week.

Jamaica has my heart. The island, the people, the food, the culture, the language, the antics, the brilliance, the everything. Most importantly, the music that plays while we live life, while we travel, and while we grow. Reggae music allows an innate appreciation for the culture, just by rhythm alone. The drums and basslines, the horns and background vocalists–from the Warrior Love Band to the Harmony House Band and Singers…it’s all just a spectacular music to take in. Especially on a large scale.

Reggae Sumfest has proven, yet again, to be the biggest reggae show on earth with a great structure, and an even greater pool of talent to select from. Big up to the team involved in executing this year’s event so wonderfully, and for making the experience for a reggae lover living out here in the diaspora, to feel a little bit of home every time I take part in a viewing event like this. From the production value, to the praise for young Teshae, Sumfest was entertaining from beginning to end. It was Jamaican excellence, personified. Next year won’t miss me.

Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing’s “Urban Toronto Tales” blog.

 

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Sumfest gets high marks
BY MARK CUMMINGS
Editor-at-Large

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 1 comment

Organisers of the 27th Reggae Sumfest have hailed it as the “biggest and best ever” in its history. They pointed to the massive crowds and excellent delivery by artistes, during its live performance nights last Friday and Saturday at Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay.

“This is just awesome in every way. Spiritually-wise, no violence … and that is what Reggae Sumfest is all about. Last night (Friday) was very, very big, the biggest ever until tonight (Saturday). The good thing is that everybody was all working together, the fire department, the police, the health department,” Sumfest boss Josef Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer shortly before the show ended Sunday morning.

Reggae Sumfest co-founder Robert Russell expressed similar sentiments.

“It is the biggest Sumfest ever, no question about that,” he stressed. “It went very, very well, everybody has done very well. The vendors are happy, the massive crowd is happy, the musicians, the security forces … everything has gone very, well this year.”

Russell said the strong line-up of artistes was the main reason for the tremendous support from patrons.

“The line-up is one of the key ingredients for the success of any show, and we had a great line-up, and that manifested itself in the crowd support.”

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Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has indicated that J$ 1 Billion was generated at the just concluded Reggae Sumfest music festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

“This year was arguably the largest Reggae Sumfest in terms of attendance from both local and overseas guests. On the visitor arrival side, we saw approximately 10,000 people coming to the island for the festival which is an increase of 3000 over last year.

More importantly we estimate the revenue impact from the festival to be $J1 Billion based on average room nights stay of locals and visitors and taxes,” said Minister Bartlett.

Reggae Sumfest, which began in 1993, has been described as the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean, taking place each year in mid-July in Montego Bay. It attracts crowds of all ages from all over the world and locally and has featured a variety of Jamaican reggae artists as well as international acts.

Jamaica Tourism Minister: Reggae Sumfest generates J$1 billion

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (R) engages in discussion with Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness at the Jamaica Tourist Board booth at Reggae Sumfest held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. Minister Bartlett has indicated that the estimated revenue impact of the festival is J$1 Billion.


Minister Bartlett added that, “The success of entertainment festivals such as Sumfest augurs well for tourism as it boosts arrivals and has a major economic impact in and around Montego Bay.

Through these types of events, hotels both large and small, attractions and smaller players in the sector get to truly benefit from the extensive value chain of tourism.”

The weeklong festival usually kicks off with the Sumfest Beach Party  which is followed with a series of events including a free Street Dance. Then there are two nights of the main festival with live performances featuring some of the best Dancehall and Reggae Artists in the world.

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SUMFEST BUZZ
MoBay experiencing spike in economic activity from reggae festival
BY HORACE HINESObserver West reporter

July 18, 2019

Deja All Inclusive Resort is one of the hotels in Montego Bay that has reported 100 per cent occupancy. (Photo: Philp Lemonte)
MONTEGO BAY, St James — There is a marked increase in economic activity arising from the 26th staging of the week-long Reggae Sumfest, which kicked off on Sunday in the tourist resort city of Montego Bay.

Robin Russell, chairman of the Montego Bay chapter of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), told the Jamaica Observer West yesterday that hotels in and around Montego Bay are now enjoying a 100 per cent occupancy level.

“All hotels are full. The closest hotel rooms are now available in Negril. Everybody is super excited and have been preparing for this week. So far, the events are very good; the street dance and the beach party were very good,” said Russell.

“If the reception from the first two nights of Sumfest is anything to go by, then this year’s staging will be one of the best ever. The line-up is great.”

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), Janet Silvera, expressed similar sentiments.

“Montego Bay is doing very, very well. It’s a good feeling. There are a lot of festivities, the town feels better. I think more Jamaicans are going to come from overseas this year to attend Reggae Sumfest,” she noted.

“Downsound (organisers of the festival) has really hit a winning formula for the event this year, and I think that they are going to do exceptionally well with the festival because people are really looking forward to especially, Friday and Saturday nights.”

She attributes the buzz surrounding the festival to the great anticipation of the performances of reggae kingpins, Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, and others.

“In the history of Sumfest I don’t recall seeing the type of excitement that surrounds it this year, and I believe this is as a result of Buju, Chronixx and Beres Hammond, Koffee, and others,” Silvera said.

Russell, who is also the security manager of the festival, indicted that everything is in place for the two final nights of the event at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre venue.

“We are ready. The venue is ready, everything is ready. We have made extra preparations…we have acquired more parking lots. We have created an entertainment zone from the airport all the way to Freeport to facilitate Sumfest in the state of emergency,” Russell expressed.

Claudia Artwell, the venue manager for the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, disclosed that a safety team will be added to “the greatest reggae festival on earth this year”.

“We have a safety team that we trained this year along with the fire department. They are trained in basic safety. We are going to ensure that everybody is comfortable. We will be going around and checking if fire extinguishers are working, make sure that safety procedures are adhered to, and so on…right now Downsound is on the top of things,” said Artwell.

Commander of the St James police division Superintendent Vernon Ellis revealed that the police are prepared for the hosting of the annual reggae festival.

“For the Reggae Sumfest we would have received additional assets to ensure that we secure the city in a proper way for the period,” Superintendent Ellis assured.

Sumfest 2019 features Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Beenie Man, and Bounty Killa.

Other acts down to thrill the thousands expected for the festival include Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Romaine Virgo, X-Factor winner Dalton Harris, Agent Sasco, Spice, and Spragga Benz.

The 26-year-old festival staged under the theme ‘Our Music, Our Festival’, got underway with a beach party and will move to the main venue, Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, from Friday, July 19 to Saturday, July 20.

Meanwhile, craft traders, restaurant operators, and other businesses are also cashing in on the influx of visitors to the resort city.

There is definitely an increase in business over the past few days, and we expect that sales will further increase on the weekend when the festival moves into high gear,” said a craft trader.

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From its inception, reggae music has characteristically been associated with Rastafarians, the tropics, and spliffs sending up plumes of cannabis smoke. Acknowledging this everlasting connection to music, Clyde McKenzie, organiser of the upcoming Reggae Sumfest symposium, wishes to propel conversations that inextricably align cannabis use with reggae music.

Along with topics such as the technical art of sound engineering and the correlation between music and violence, McKenzie has organised for a panel to open a discussion on music and herb on July 12 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge at The UWI Mona Campus, during the symposium.

Regardless of the fact that many places around the world, including Uruguay and Canada, have recently embraced cannabis as both medicine and recreation, Jamaica is still tiptoeing towards accepting the product as viable in business and in health. But there is another connection that is well known, but perhaps undermined for its not-so-pretty history as a criminal element.

“There is a historical nexus between the plant and Jamaican music. Many of our leading exponents have really promoted or recommended the use of ganja in their music. The fact is that the Rastafarian movement is significant to our cultural music, as is their sacramental plant,” McKenzie told The Sunday Gleaner.

“The question we’re asking is how do we continue the synergy between ganja and Jamaican music; what can be derived from continued associations between the two; and what should be the nature of this relationship. How will the businesses that are marijuana-related invest? Will they use Jamaican music to promote it? Or how will they invest in Jamaican music?” he questioned.

To continue pushing the conversation, local music festivals like Rebel Salute and Reggae Sumfest have either dedicated features to the event (like Salute’s Herb Curb) or inviting the participation of advocates, activists and the few licensed entities that exist.

GAME CHANGER
Since Jamaica began issuing licences to select growers who are developing medical and recreational dispensaries, a variety of players entered the fledgling industry. According to Joe Bogdanovich, some of those players will be represented at Reggae Sumfest.

“It’s a really significant industry, maybe a game changer industry, maybe in more ways than we actually know. I’ll say it’s all positive and constructive. It’s an industry that we recognise at Reggae Sumfest,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.

“Here in the island of Jamaica, it’s a situation where there are a lot of medical marijuana applications. From my understanding, it’s much more significant than just the other kind of marijuana. We do understand that it helps cancer patients, with dietary problems and all sorts of things,” Bogdanovich observed.

For the Sumfest principal, his position about the shifting global attitude to cannabis primarily aligns with medicine. However, the historical nexus, McKenzie highlighted, is not lost on the popular entrepreneur.

He added: “Marijuana was a common thing, back in the Peace Movement in them’60s that was revolutionary at that time. It’s something that comes all the way from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and all of those people. This is just the continuation, an evolution of business.”

So far, Bogdanovich has secured the support of RAGGA (Rastafari Grassroots and Ganja Cluster), a group representing all the mansions of Rastafari at next month’s staging of Reggae Sumfest.

“RAGGA is one such licensed organisation and they’re definitely on board. Island Strains is on board, and a few others brands want to get on board, but they’re not totally approved as of yet. We’re working on getting that done,” he revealed.

Among the other topics to be explored at the July 12 Reggae Symposium, are the relevance of radio in the advent of social media and the question of appropriation or misappropriation. Totally free to the public, the symposium only requires online registration via Reggae Sumfest’s website. Thee organisers say that space is limited and refreshment will be provided.

Reggae Sumfest kicks off on July 14 with ‘Morning Medz’, a breakfast party at Tropical Beach. On Monday, July 15, the festival will take to the streets with a Street Dance at the Old Hospital Park. The action moves to Pier 1 on Tuesday, July 16, with the All-White Party. It’s all black on Wednesday, July 17, when the party moves to the Hard Rock Café in Montego Bay. The Global Sound Clash takes place on Thursday, July 18, at Pier 1, and this will see top selectors Ricky Trooper, Pink Panther, Yard Beat, and King Turbo competing for honours.

The performances begin at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre on Friday, July 19. Among the artistes who are now in rehearsals for Reggae Sumfest Night 1 are Chronixx, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Spice, Agent Sasco, Dexta Daps, Squash Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Munga, Govanna, and Dovey Magnum.

The curtains come down on Reggae Sumfest on Saturday, July 20, with heavyweights Buju Banton, and Beres Hammond as well as Protojé, Romain Virgo, Chris Martin, Dalton Harris, Jah9 and Etana.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20190630/game-changing-ganja-reggae-sumfest

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Kingston Experiencing Tourism Renaissance
JIS FEATURES
JUNE 21, 2019
WRITTEN BY: GARWIN DAVIS

Story Highlights
Although Kingston is officially listed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) as one of the island’s six resort areas, the city has not always enjoyed first-call status it relates to tourist arrivals.
This, however, seems to be rapidly changing, as the nation’s capital has been gaining traction as a cultural and musical destination, and is now being given a second look by travellers, mainly the millennials.
Investors have been taking note of the upward tick in visitor arrivals, and are seeking to exploit this positive development.
Although Kingston is officially listed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) as one of the island’s six resort areas, the city has not always enjoyed first-call status it relates to tourist arrivals.

This, however, seems to be rapidly changing, as the nation’s capital has been gaining traction as a cultural and musical destination, and is now being given a second look by travellers, mainly the millennials.

Investors have been taking note of the upward tick in visitor arrivals, and are seeking to exploit this positive development.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is not surprised by the renewed interest in Kingston, noting that “this can only further add value to what is an already very attractive tourism product”.

He tells JIS News that the development of the AC Marriott Kingston Hotel and the R Hotel is not only a major boost for the city’s tourism offerings, but will assist in showcasing the metropolis as a viable alternative to the island’s northern and southern coasts.

“Jamaica’s tourism product is getting more diverse by the day. Our arrival figures are now at a stratospheric level where, for the first time in history, we welcomed some two million visitors in the first five months of the year and earned US$1.7 billion in revenue,” he notes.

Mr. Bartlett adds that he expects the boutique R Hotel in New Kingston and also the AC Marriott to not only increase Kingston’s rooms but also play a part in attracting more visitors to Jamaica.

“The presence of products like these adds to the statement that Kingston wants to make… that it has arrived and is ready for the status of a big city tourism destination. So we are also excited about building out these very important elements of what true city tourism is about,” he further says.

The AC Marriott, designed by Synergy Design Studios, is a Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart-led Sandals Resorts International development located on Lady Musgrave Road in the New Kingston/Golden Triangle area, and adjoins the family-owned ATL Automotive Group’s BMW and MINI showroom.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre), joins Sandals/ATL Group Deputy Chairman, Adam Stewart (right); and Senior Communications Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, Delano Seiveright, in raising a toast to the development of the newly constructed AC Marriott Kingston Hotel, during a recent tour of the establishment.
The hotel represents the family’s first major tourism venture outside of its Sandals/Beaches resorts brand.“The AC Marriot in Kingston is very special. It is not just a facility that enables people to walk in, sleep at night or have a drink. It is a place for recreation, rest and conversation. But more importantly, it is also a creative centre where people will get a chance to enjoy the culture while making a contribution to local development,” Mr. Bartlett arguesAdditionally, the Minister says he is equally impressed with what the R Hotel brings to the table, noting that it represents the new drive in Jamaica to not only increase numbers, but also add value to the experiences of visitors to the island.He praises the owners for outfitting the hotel with Jamaica-made furnishing and promoting local culture and food through the establishment’s Gene Pearson Gallery and Red Bones Blues Café.
“This is an exciting part of this retention strategy that we have, because when the supplies that the tourist consumes are bought and produced in Jamaica, then the dollar remains here. This has resulted in an increase in retention from 30 per cent to 40.8 per cent,” the Minister points out.

For his part, R Hotel Director, Joe Bogdanovich, says with the establishment’s opening comes new possibilities for the expansion of Brand Jamaica through business tourism in the capital.

“Kingston has enormous potential for both business and conventional tourism, and we in the industry must continue to innovate in order to make Kingston the premier city to conduct business in the Caribbean,” he points out.

Senior Advisor/Strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, notes that “the development comes on the heels of other major tourism developments in Kingston, including the… 220-room AC Marriott Kingston Hotel and the 2020 opening announcement of the new 168-room Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel on PanJam Investment Limited’s multipurpose complex on the downtown Kingston waterfront”.

R Hotel is the city’s first extended-stay business hotel. The newest addition to Kingston’s room stock is a collaboration between noted architect Evan Williams and entertainment mogul/investor Joe Bogdanovich.

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