The Caribbean’s top music festivals


Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Reggae Sumfest heats up Montego Bay July 16-22. Saluting the genre that was born in Jamaica in the late 1960s, the island’s biggest week-long festival attracts thousands from across the globe who make the pilgrimage to hear a roster of reggae and dancehall megastars like Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Sean Kingston. Staged in an open-air field called the Catherine Hall Festival Grounds, the main events are marathon-length concerts that start at 9 p.m. and wrap up after 7 a.m. the following morning. Must-do’s for diehards include the Sumfest Beach Party on Tropical Bliss Beach, All-White Party and the crowd-pleasing Heavyweight Sound Clash at the Pier 1 Entertainment Center. Resorts like Half Moon, Hilton Rose Hall and Round Hill sell festival packages. Summing up the longevity of the Caribbean’s largest music festival, event producer Joseph Bogdanovich observes that “an authentic reggae experience where the music was born, lives and breathes can only be had in Jamaica.”

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