Tag: SumfestNews


Stars Shine Brightly On Reggae Sumfest Night 2

Published:Monday | July 22, 2019 | 12:16 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer

Kenyon Hemans
Protoje performs with two of his friends, Lila Ike and Agent Sasco.


Awake from their slumber last Saturday night, the audience that stood in anticipation of the performance from former musical protégé Protoje acknowledged that he has since mastered the craft.

With the fullest versatility on display, the Grammy-nominated lyricist, a Lion King in his own right, questioned Who is a Scar to a Simba, the collab with Jessie Royal on Royal’s Lion Order.

Whether it was with Like This or Rasta Man , featuring Ky-Mani Marley, Protoje built the energy of the audience, which had only previously been stirred by X-Factor/Digicel Rising stars Dalton Harris.

Introducing newcomer Lila Ike to his set led to a resounding ovation, which doubled when Agent Sasco made a surprise entrance. Singer/DJ Chronixx joined Protoje on stage, with the internationally acclaimed Who Knows receiving the loudest ovation of the night to that point.

Buju Banton had not yet hit the stage, neither had two of the Digicel Rising Stars trio. Romain Virgo and Christopher Martin, who made history by being on the same internationally acclaimed stage performing for the same audience in one night.

Opening with a rendition of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, Virgo stepped on stage donned in a fashionable three-pieced suit. As he inquired if the crowd believed in love,In This Together and Wanna Go Home showed that he ­definitely did, whereas Love Doctor and Don’t You Remember showed his vocal prowess. The audience itself was just as Rich in Love as Virgo was, feeling the power of his robust set. The loudest ovation was for 10-year-old Tashae Silvera, who chastised the “dutty men” and the “waste men” alike, with the background showing the statistics of missing children.

You can never go wrong with ending your set with the country’s national anthem, and Virgo did so flawlessly.

The consummate professional, beckoned by his given name, Hugh Beresford Hammond, showed that few things are as consistent as the excellence of a Beres Hammond performance. Come Back Home did not disappoint Step Aside Now and Standing in the Way both pleaded for a lesser man to move up. In making the crowd Feel Good, Hammond expressed the same sentiment.

Even though every song is a classic, Double Trouble and Putting Up Resistancespoke to timeless hits the cultured Catherine Hall crowd could appreciate. “I wonder if you remember this song yah.” Seriously, Hammond? Catherine Hall, Reggae Sumfest, Montego Bay remember every word to every song you have ever done.

The penultimate act at Reggae Sumfest 2019 was indeed a Big Deal, not a meal deal. Year in and year out, Christopher Martin has used the Sumfest stage to show his growth as an artiste and a performer, and Saturday night was his best to date.

Totally in his element, Can’t Love Me Now and Cheaters Anthem struck a resounding ovation as Martin refused to extol misogyny in an era of women empowerment.

Leave People Business Alone was followed by Martin imploring the audience to love the country’s women, with the rash of violence prevalent in today’s Jamaica.

The Strong One, Etana, came out in a black and gold dress to a Better Tomorrow. With a vocal presence that was impossible to ignore, Etana entertained with Warrior Love and I Rise, which got the audience to sing along. Years later, Wrong Addressstill has the same effect, which speaks to how relatable her words are in song.

The 27th Reggae Sumfest also saw performances from a conscious and captivating Jah9, whose message had the audience in action mode.

Performances from Kamar Highcon, Montego Bay’s Jovex, Kingston’s Alpha Boy’s Band, Florida’s Tesselated, Avante, and Dre Zee all added to the wholesomeness of the final night of Reggae Sumfest 2019.

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The birds are singing for Aidonia – Bogdanovich says patrons should expect surprises at Reggae Sumfest
by Shereita Grizzle – Staff Reporter
July 18, 2019


With a day before the first performance night gets under way at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, Reggae Sumfest’s chief organiser, Joe Bogdanovich, says patrons are in for a host of surprises as far as the final line-up is concerned.

With rumours that Aidonia may be among the late additions, Bogdanovich, although offering no confirmation, says the former is a possibility.

“I was in the park the other day, and at sunset, often the birds like to hang out there and chit-chat, and they sing all kinds of tunes out there. They sang a tune for Koffee, and I paid attention to the birdies. All I can say now is that they’re chit chatting again, and I don’t know what they have for this Donia kid, but boy, they couldn’t stop talking about him,” he said.

“They (the birds) think that not only will Donia be there, but there will be others. Everybody wants to be on this show, and everybody wants to be at this show. It’s going to be a landmark show. The weather is great. We have some tricks up our sleeves. It’ll be fun. You don’t wanna miss a beat.”

Last minute additions are sometimes taken out of context to mean that promoters of an event are cowering before the final hour to book big name acts to carry the event. This is not the case for Reggae Sumfest, Bogdanovich insisted.

“Everybody who’s anybody is on this show. I think the ladies will represent really well with they dynamics. We have some youthful energy, as well as an act that always delivers. I think that we got a lot of emphasis on young, vibrant relevant artistes coming up. It’s nice to see the second city coming up with some big aces again, and everybody is excited about that. Everybody seems to think that the ‘6ixes’ have really resurrected dancehall, and we will see how they do,” he said.

“We have the legends of dancehall there in, Bounty and Beenie, who are very enthusiastic about showing us what it takes to be a legend and survive for so long in this business. I think that Chronixx is a huge international star, and he’s reggae, dancehall Jamaican making big moves, and he’s on top of the game. Koffee, who has just been added, she’s 19 and a phenom everybody wants to see. The facts are what they are, and Dancehall Night is going to be special. So, get there early cause it’s going to sell off.”

Speaking of early, Bogdanovich urged artistes to be on time for their sets, as he is hoping to meet a 6 a.m. lock-off time. He pointed out that he will be trying to adhere to international standards for the show, which would mean that artistes who miss their performance slots might not get to perform and/or could risk not being paid the balance of their appearance fee.

Tomorrow’s show will see the likes of Spice, Dovey Magnum, Shauna Controlla, Govana, Dexta Daps, Squash, Chronic Law and Jahvillani joining Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Chronixx and Koffee to share the stage

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Reggae Sumfest 2019 featuring performances by Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Protoje, Romain Virgo, Etana, Dalton Harris, Chris Martin, Tessellated, Jah 9, Avante, Jovexx, Dre Zee, Faice and Hemar Highcon held at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay on Saturday July 20, 2019. SPONSORED BY QUANTUM CONCEPTS 

Photographed by Kenyon Hemans and Ashley Anguin

Gallery | Reggae Sumfest 2019 Festival Night Two

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 22, 2019: Dubbed as the ‘world’s greatest reggae show,’ Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest concluded early Sunday morning in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was marked by stellar performances by the island’s top reggae and dancehall artists. Here are our Top 10 Performances from Sumfest 2019:

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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.


Supreme Ventures goes Sumfest

Friday, July 19, 2019

Gail Abrahams

Gaming company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) will give away $50,000 to a lucky patron at Reggae Sumfest this week.

According to Gail Abrahams, vice-president of marketing, communications and sponsorships at SVL, there are plans to get Sumfest fans in a festive mood.

“Reggae Sumfest is a world renowned event, it is a platform for many upcoming performers, and it attracts thousands of patrons, both local and overseas. SVL is a strong supporter of entertainment and of honing new talent while at the same time offering a difference and even more excitement to an already exhilarating showcase,” Abrahams said.

“This is an open invitation to Reggae Sumfest patrons to be a part of the SVL excitement this Friday and Saturday night — join us at the Ultimate Lounge,” said Abrahams.

SVL will also promote its new mobile app.

Patrons are invited to visit the SVL booth, sign up and verify their SV Games mobile app account. After sign-up and verification are complete, each patron will become eligible to win $50,000.

SVL will host guests in what is being dubbed The Ultimate Lounge with Cash Pot, lottery machines, and other games.

Reggae Sumfest started on July 14. It culminates this weekend with its live performance segment featuring Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Buju Banton, and Koffee.

— Kevin Jackson

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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.

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.



Networking A Priority At Sumfest’s Reggae Symposium

Published:Friday | June 28, 2019 | Kimberley Small/Staff Reporter

The synergy between cannabis and Jamaican music; the relevance of radio in the advent of social media; the technical art of sound engineering; the question of appropriation or misappropriation and the correlation between music and violence are all topics to be tackled during the Reggae Symposium, on July 12 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on The University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

As part of Reggae Sumfest’s expanded week-long activities, the symposium casts a more scrutinizing gaze on the local music industry, with the hope to facilitate networking and learning opportunities for aspiring music business professionals.

Though he was not a participant for last year’s inaugural symposium, music scholar Clyde McKenzie revealed that he was present at the genesis of the idea to introduce elements that extend Reggae Sumfest into a form resembling major international music festivals.

“The trend is for festivals around the world to encompass as many different features as possible. In discussions with Joe Bogdanovich, I said that a symposium would be a nice feature. He was in agreement because his mind seemed to be going in that direction,” McKenzie told The Gleaner.

He continued: “Joe and Sumfest should be applauded for this initiative because it is another facet of a festival that we need to highlight. You need to be entertained, but you also need to be informed. The aim is for younger people in the business to get the opportunity to network with and learn.”

Free of charge, the symposium only requires online registration for attendants. “There is not a cent charged for it, and we’ll be making sure there will be refreshment and snacks so people are comfortable coming there. There is limited space. There are opportunities to register via the Reggae Sumfest website. First come, first served,” McKenzie said. kimberley.small@gleanerjm.com

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Bounty Killer is really feeling himself right now and rightfully so.
The dancehall kingpin says he is proud of the fact that three years shy of 50, and after more than 27 years in Jamaica’s music industry, he is aging like fine wine. “Gyal dem say mi aging gracefully; handsome dem wah hold mi ransom and 47 fit me better than 27,” the Killa declared recently in an Instagram post, which attracted more than 10,000 and hundreds of comments from adoring female fans.

Bounty Killer, born Rodney Pryce in Kingston in 1972, grew up in the battle-hardened community of Seaview Gardens in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. He celebrated his 47th birthday two weeks ago on June 12, 2019.

The artiste, who stands at six feet two inches tall, has credited the practicing of good eating habits learned from his late mother Miss Ivy, as well as doing push-ups, for his sleek form and youthful appearance.

His tendency to spend copious amounts of time with his own children, as well as chilling with, and mentoring other youngsters through his foundation, may also be having some impact on the Killer maintaining his youthful looks.

Less than two weeks ago, he was in the company of several at-risk boys in Kingston, providing motivational talks as a part of #OurSons – an interactive session for boys and young men under the Bounty Killer Foundation.

The doting dad was also recently captured in a photo, sitting in the stands at one of his younger daughter’s school’s sports day where he took time out to give her his undivided support.

The self-proclaimed Poor People Governor shot to prominence in 1992 and became a household name following the legendary clash with arch-rival Dancehall artiste Beenie Man a year later at the Sting 1993 show, at Jamworld in St. Catherine.

This year at Reggae Sumfest, Bounty will square off with Beenie Man, in a much-anticipated friendly musical rivalry stint on Friday night, July 19, at the Catherine Hall venue in a segment dubbed ‘One night, one stage, two legends,’ a performance the artiste has predicted will be explosive.

His almost three-decade musical span has seen the release of iconic tracks such as the sound-system clash classic, Dub Fi Dub, Copper Shot and Spy Fi Die in his early Dancehall days, appearances on Multi-platinum discs, recording with some of the biggest names in world music, a joint Grammy and a plethora of other accolades.

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