Tag: Tourism

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The tropical island of Jamaica, also known as the “land of wood and water,” got its name from the Indigenous Taino people who migrated to the island 2,500 years ago. Its unique history and African heritage heavily influence Jamaican culture. Initially inhabited by the Taino Indians from 1,000 BC., through the early 16th century, their culture thrived until the arrival of Spanish settlers. Due to disease, malnutrition, and slavery, the Taino civilization quickly became extinct. Christopher Columbus and Spanish settlers came in search of Gold and other natural resources, and Great Britain subsequently overthrew the Spanish in 1655.

Facts About Jamaican Festivals

IMG SOURCE: REDBULL.COM

Jamaica hosts vibrant, exciting festivals throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals celebrated in Jamaica are Carnival and Reggae Sumfest. Carnival is typically observed in March before Easter and features music, dance, food, drinking, parties, and overall a fun party atmosphere. Reggae Sumfest is the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Sumfest is held every year in July in Montego Bay. Reggae’s popularity brings thousands of people to Jamaica each year.

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Live streaming garnered millions of impressions from as far as Australia, Dubai, Nigeria, Russia and Denmark

Forbes explained that the return on their investment is largely predicated on serving clients outside of Jamaica, as well as meeting the needs of discerning local clients who target international distribution. The technology was launched at the recent staging of Reggae Sumfest.

As the host broadcaster for Reggae Sumfest, Phase 3 provided its multi-camera 4K coverage of the concert to approved content distributors. Live streaming garnered millions of impressions from as far as Australia, Dubai, Nigeria, Russia and Denmark.

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Reggae Sumfest Saturday: Sumfest takes fans into the sunrise with a lineup of reggae legends

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an epic Friday night Reggae Sumfest was not showing signs of slowing down. Looking at the itinerary it was evident that Saturday night was going to be another all nighter with Buju Banton serving up his set at sunrise. Attempting to arrive earlier in order to beat the traffic didn’t work as well as we’d hoped but offered up a chance for a lovely evening nap after a day out in the hot Jamaican sun. Now with the moon and stars out it was a whole new ‘day’.

Jah9 took the stage with a slight delay around 11pm, an early show by the local standards but we made it in time. Jah9 is a spiritual creature, a philanthropist, and a yoga instructor but for the purposes of this event, Jah9 is a reggae artists. These days Jah9 is working towards developing a “deeper, more personal deployment of her Jazz on Dub sound” while making her audiences “pause, breathe deeply, and feel empowered” – the 9 here stands for the symbol of creation and womb of the universe. While all that might sound like fancy bio jargon it’s all true. Naturally, Jah9’s performance was melodic, smoothly flowing from one track into another like a river. She smiled, talked about Jah, and shared small bits of truth while dancing through New name (2013), 9 (2016), and various older tracks like ”Steamers a bubble”.

After a couple of breaks, band changes, and a lovely performance by Etana, Protoje made his way out to greet the Sumfest crowd.

In interview with the Rolling Stone Protoje spoke about reggae as a genre: “It’s not some resort music that people drink piña coladas to […] Reggae and hip-hop have a close background together” he continued pointing out how he likes to “dance in between those.” His recent release, A Matter of Time, is a great example of reggae revival (resurgence of a conscious, organic, but up to date reggae). An album created for a global audience and meant to break down boundaries and stereotypes of the genre. A Matter of Time is a bit of a departure from Ancient Future which was a showcase of the history of Jamaican music. But in departure comes progress. As the headliner for reggae revival standing alongside Chronixx the two occasionally work together so, naturally, their music carries some resemblance. For his set Protoje brought out quite a few guests including Jesse Royal, Sevana, and Lila Ike. The guests who got the most horns going, however, were Agent Sasco and, of course, Chronixx, introduced as “The biggest artist of our generation.”

By the time Beres Hammond came out the area around the stage was packed to the brim. Beres is a reggae legend with three generations of fans, who’s easy to listen to romantic music has touched many hearts and inspired many musicians. This show was, in a way, a part of Hammond’s Never Ending tour, an album released last year, his 3rd #1 album on the Billboard reggae chart. With a 9-piece band supporting his set Beres charismatically and playfully cruised the stage with a sly smile. Now 63, Beres Hammond is truly an inspiration. As soon as his voice rang through Catherine Hall people seemed to take a step back from pushing and begun to sing along and sway.

A few years back Beres brought out Romain Virgo on stage to sing the “I Feel Good” rhythm which, he once told United Reggae, was his way of saying “Keep doing what you’re doing, kid”. Fast forward to today, six-plus years later Romain Virgo took the Sumfest stage following Mr Hammond.

Romain Virgo, wearing a 3-piece impressionable suit, is Jamaica’s own hopeless romantic. His latest album, Lovesick, released last year via VP records, is 16 tightly packed love songs. Having seen Romain at Sumfest a couple of years ago I knew, this is the artist who will turn all the women in the audience into lovestruck schoolgirls. Having chatted with Romain earlier that week what was fresh on my mind is a calm, somewhat self conscious artist, consistently looking to improve his act (interview coming soon). On stage, however, Romain carries himself with shameless charisma and charm. He sang to the women’s empowerment, encouraging pride and holding their heads high. Agent Sascomade another stage appearance for “Fade Away” from Lifted (2015). For this track the background video spoke to the high numbers of missing children. The not so subtle awareness continued when Romain brought out another special guest – a 10-year-old girl named Teshae Silvera, to sing one of his unreleased songs. The people should be taking care of the younger ones, Romaine called out, “this is a message for you and all I want you to do is listen, this is so powerful.” Teshae begun to sing quietly, Romain demanded attention and the people quieted down to give room to this young singer to showcase her voice and share the powerful message of child abuse. As one would expect, this performance brought tears to some people’s faces. Romain sang solo through the rest of his set ending with an a cappella when his time got cut short to catch up on earlier delays.

Second to last performance of the weekend was another dancehall romantic Christopher Martin. Starting with his top tracks “I’m a big deal” and “Paper loving” Christopher quickly warmed up the tiring crowd. Pacing the stage with subtly seductive dance moves (particularly for “Magic”), getting the crowd to take part by singing along and swaying their arms left to right. “Sexy ladies make some noise” Martin called out. “Ladies I gotta talk to you,” he continued after a brief pause: “The views of Christopher Martin aren’t necessarily the views of every man in here” quick disclaimer followed by him speaking out the first few lines of “Bun fi bun” as the audience laughed and cheered. Right after he, naturally, brought out Romain Virgo, the two are friends and support each other on tours sometimes, we’ve learned during an interview a few days earlier. Sadly, Christopher’s set too had to be cut early. Leaving the audience without a proper set conclusion he left giving room to the stage staff swapping out band equipment.

Buju Banton was the final act for the night and the one people we’re most anxious to see. Trying to make my way back into the photo pit at this point begun to look like an impossible feat as people stormed the tiny entrance. Just behind the fence from this restless crowd, standing at the foot of the stage steps is Buju himself, calm, chatting with some people, ready to go, like a champion ‘Ram pa pa pam pam’. A small group of large men somehow managed to part the lineup to allow Beenie Man come through to the front of the stage to watch the show.

This was Buju’s second pubic performance since his release from prison in March. The nearly 8-year break had no impact on the artist’s stage presence or size of audience. Buju’s 10-piece Shiloh band was just big enough to match the excitement of the audience while Buju himself was energetically bouncing around the stage barefoot, in a plaid vest and trousers combo. His 90 minute set took us into the next day effortlessly with some anthemic tunes.

There have been reports that Buju’s Long Walk to Freedom Concert is the one that will never be beat, having not lived through that one I can’t compare but it’s safe to say this Sumfest set was an unforgettable one.

At this point it was Sunday. It felt like we have lived a full two days of reggae uninterrupted and aside from a little sweat and dust there isn’t much to be mad about. Leaving the festival grounds in high energy, holding on to our chairs, shoes, and water bottles we were all inevitably beginning to count down the days to Sumfest 2020.

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MoBay Airbnb Hosts Rake In $36m From Sumfest

Published:Saturday | August 3, 2019 | Carlene Davis/Gleaner Writer

As tourists and locals descended upon the Second City in droves last month for the week-long Reggae Sumfest, several small players in the local accommodations sector cashed in offering weary patrons a place to rest their heads.

Those who did bookings through the online service Airbnb received an estimated windfall of $36 million.

With more than 1,800 guest arrivals, Airbnb hosts benefited from a significant increase in bookings for the festival weekend on July 19 and 20, with the likes of reggae superstars Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx gracing the stage.

The largest demographic of guests was the 30 to 39 years old category, with an average group size of three persons per booking, staying approximately three nights. Most originated from Kingston, Florida, and New York.

Looking ahead, Airbnb said that it is steadily working to drive tourism in the region and to grow economic opportunity by promoting authentic travel in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.

“The home-sharing community in Jamaica continues to thrive as a growing component of the local tourism industry.

“Local hosts are increasingly opening their doors to offer foreigners and locals alike a diverse, inclusive and sustainable travel experience in urban destinations as well as rural areas. This is yet another example of how Airbnb is able to help cities by adding capacity during large events and helping boost tourism,” said Carlos Munoz, Airbnb’s campaign manager, public policy and communications for the Caribbean and Central America.

Havanah Llewellyn, president of the Jamaica Homesharing Association, the body set up by Airbnb to improve the island’s offering to the sector, said he was excited to see the continued growth as no rooms were left empty in Montego Bay over the concert weekend.

“We are extremely excited when we see those numbers coming in, just like when we had Buju in Kingston that was great for us as well. So to see these festivals that are happening, the partnerships with Sumfest and the Government and Airbnb, that is what is going to bring continued growth to the country,” Llewellyn said. “It’s great for the country because all of this is going right back into the economy. With the hotels being full, where would those other guests go? So now we are able to pick up some of that slack and that then spills over into the restaurants and the taxi drivers.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetise their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to more than six million unique places to stay in nearly 100,000 cities and 191 countries.

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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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J$1 Billion in Revenue Generated from Reggae Sumfest says Ed Bartlett
July 30, 2019

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has indicated that J$1 Billion was generated at the recently concluded Reggae Sumfest music festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

Bartlett said “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.

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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Record numbers turn out for Reggae Sumfest 2019
Mon July 22, 2019

Reggae Sumfest 2019 ended with a bang, attracting a historic number of tourists.

The week-long event was attended by members of parliament, international singers and rappers, NBA stars, cricketers and a wide selection of music lovers.

Some of biggest names in reggae and dancehall flocked Catherine Hall in Montego Bay to witness performances by Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Protoje, Etana, Spice, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco, Koffee, Spragga Benz and others.

It was also a special night for past Digicel Rising Stars winners, as four contestants – Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo, Dalton Harris and saxophonist Verlando Small – graced the Sumfest stage.

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Gallery | Reggae Sumfest 2019 Festival Night One

Reggae Sumfest 2019 featuring performances by Chronixx, Koffee, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Spice, Agent Sasco, Dexta Daps, Squash, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Munga, Govana, Dovey Magnum, Unknown Gringo, Shane E, Chronic Law, Jahvillani and Shauna Controlla held at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay on Friday July 19, 2019.
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A Letter To Reggae Sumfest – Job Well Done
by J.D. Smith  July 27, 2019

Dear Sumfest,

It was a pleasure to have seen you again after a year of your absence. How we longed to see you, and when you finally arrived what joy you brought to us. Dancehall Night brought us the Spice, The Koffee and even a little Chronixx to get us by. Beenie Manand Bounty Killer had us rocking through the night with their legendary friendly fight. Govana did the most, Aidonia brought it over the top, Jahvillani was flagrant, Agent Sasco once again proved he was top notch!

Dexta Daps, as usual, had the ladies magic, Elephant Man and Munga Honorableproved they still have it. I didn’t even blink in an effort not to miss, despite that even at 8 am I didn’t see the 6IX. Just like that dancehall night was over leaving thrilling memories on which to reminisce, but wait, there was one night to go still.

Night two, aka Reggae Night, was an upgrade from the beautiful night before. Chris Martin sang his “Cheaters Prayer,” Romain “Bellowed,” and Beres “Roared” with the ladies hanging to his every note. Protoje was a master, Lila Ike’s introduction seemingly assured she belonged in front of the crowd. Jah 9 was mystical, Dalton Harris thrilled us with his range and sought clarity, and Etana “The Strong One” echoed her quality. Buju Banton was left for last, and the Gargamel blasted his vocals across the venue as fans craved more of the songs on the legends musical menu, needless to say, he delivered.

Then there was nothing to look forward to, and our short time together has again passed, no more sound clash, or Sumfest Street Dance no more standing aghast at talented Jamaicans taking the stage apart. Thank you Downsound and Joe Bogdanovich for investing in our Jamaican talents.

So it’s until next year again and no doubt I will miss you. See you again soon.

Yours Sincerely.

J.D. Smith
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