Tag: SumfestNews

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High Expectations For Sumfest 2019

Published: Thursday | May 16, 2019 | Janet Sivera – Gleaner Writer
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).
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.

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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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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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Some patrons who attended the Sumfest “Colour-Fest” Beach Party at Tropical Bliss in Montego Bay, St James on Sunday, enjoyed the event from the vantage point of their cabanas.

The cabana concept, which was introduced to the 26-year-old Reggae Sumfest this year, allowed patrons to rent a cabana for the night. It not only offered a bird’s eye view of the activities, but also the added comfort of a beach bed.

Director of Reggae Sumfest, Robert Russell said the venue, Tropical Bliss, provided the perfect location for the introduction of the cabana concept.

He said patrons “warmed” to the idea which resulted in the cabanas being “sold out” in short order, once the gates to the venue were opened.

“We at Reggae Sumfest are always on a mission to improve the experience of our valued patrons and the Cabana concept presented us with an avenue to add  luxury to the beach party. We obviously didn’t have enough Cabanas to rent, but the patrons who were lucky enough to secure one, were very happy,” Russell said.

“Looking ahead to next year and beyond, we will see how we can add more of these cabanas to the venue while taking into consideration that they will have to be tastefully designed and positioned.”

Meanwhile, patrons who had to be at the venue very early on Sunday in order to rent their cabana, were very pleased they did and commended the organizers of Sumfest for such a futuristic and patron-centred move.

“We are very pleased that we were able to get one of these wonderful cabanas to rent for this party. The world is moving in the direction of bringing luxury to parties and entertainment events and we are happy that Sumfest has joined the trend,” a patron, Michelle Jones said.

Sunday’s Sumfest “Colour-Fest” Beach party saw hundreds of fun-loving party-goers descending on the venue for the high-energy event which was hosted by the “Curvy Diva” Yanique Barrett and Noah Power and featured DJs Team Shella, Jigga and Crazy Neil.

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The ‘King’ of Sumfest’s main nights – Worrell manages stage from festival’s beginning

July 17, 2018
File Woerrell King, stage manager for Reggae Sumfest 2018.

Worrell King is generally upbeat about stage management, which he has been doing for four decades. This includes working with Reggae Sumfest since its inception, and he tells THE STAR that he is especially happy with the approach of the current organisers. The festival is now run by the Joe Bogdanovich-led Downsound Entertainment. King does stage management for the main concert nights at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay.

“I particularly enjoy working on Sumfest since they have taken over. I think the present owners value my position more than the average promoter,” said King. “They presented me with an award last year.”

Noting that he is “particularly motivated” for Reggae Sumfest 2018, King said: “It is because the promoters are so enthused about making a professional presentation.”

King made it clear that he is not putting down the former lead Sumfest organisers, as “they, too, were, in their own way, professionals and pushed for a professional presentation.”

Another factor contributing to King’s anticipation is the line-up.

“I think the artistes chosen are motivated to work,” he said.

Next Friday’s Dancehall Night roster includes Spice, Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Masicka, Harry Toddler, Yanique Curvy Diva, I-Octane, Tommy Lee Sparta, Agent Sasco and Tosh Alexander. Saturday’s closing night features Beres Hammond, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley and Maxi Priest.

MOST CHALLENGING NIGHT

Over the years, King said: “Dancehall Night has posed more challenges than the other nights. It makes me feel like I am working or have worked. It is not an easy thing, but I have been successful many, many years. Challenges go with work, so they have to be taken care of.”

Although King has been stage manager for numerous concerts outside of Sumfest, he has never occupied that role for his own productions, which have included Eastern Consciousness, Western Consciousness, Reggae Sanity and Tribute to Peter Tosh.

“It is the most intricate job. It needs your entire senses. It is not easy to be a promoter and stage manager,” King said. He sums up the stage manager’s role as being responsible for everything that happens on the concert stage, from ensuring that equipment is in place and working properly to quick band changes and maintaining a smooth, punctual flow throughout – from a punctual start to ending on schedule.

King said that many times artistes want to know not only their time slots, but also who is performing before and after them. Plus, on concert night, there can be those who try to adjust the schedule by getting to the venue later then the time they were slated to perform, if they believe they were placed too early.

The time management begins at rehearsals, which King attends, and it is there that an artiste’s ego often starts to show “and you have to deal with it.”

He is clear about what he wants from the performers on the main stage nights of Reggae Sumfest 2018, where punctuality is key.

“I am asking all the artistes to be professional. I am begging for that. Come to the people show on time. Come off the people stage on time. We have limited time, so when you get a time, please stick to that limitation and make a professional presentation,” King said.

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MoBay designated special entertainment district for Sumfest

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has asked the security forces to consider special operational plans to facilitate this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest without undermining the State of Public Emergency in St. James.
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday, Mr. Holness said the government has designated a special entertainment district in Montego Bay.
The Prime Minister said there will be some leeway until the festival ends on July 22.
This is aimed at facilitating the extended operations of some establishments for Sumfest in this district. These include clubs and fast food restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets and other places offering goods for sale.
He noted that consideration will also be given to persons in the St. Catherine North Police Division which is under a State of Public Emergency.