Sell off! - Sumfest’s dancehall night brings out thousands
BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Montego Bay, St James -- Well over 25,000 patrons poured into the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay for Reggae Sumfest's Dancehall Night on Thursday night.
Traditionally, the annual event enjoys huge support from fans who make the journey to see their favourite dancehall stars in action.
Johnny Gourzong, executive producer of Summerfest Promotions -- organisers of Reggae Sumfest, said the support was encouraging.
"The [final] numbers have not come in yet in terms of patronage for Dancehall Night... but it looked pretty good. For the next two days, patrons can expect a really good show," he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
The support was so overwhelming that emcee Richard 'Richie B' Burgess declared: "Mr Gourzong, you've got your 25,000 patrons!"
The evening saw deejays Ninjaman, Bounty Killer and singjay I-Octane, who brought the curtains down on the show at 6:10 am, pleasing the sea of fans.
Ninjaman, the Don Gorgon, declared himself "the greatest deejay ever born inna di country" before going into some old favourites including Old Picture Frame, Cover Me, Take Time To Know Her, which he did with singer Tinga Stewart.
A lively face-off between Ninjaman and his Downsound Records stable mate, Specialist, also found its mark with the fans.
Bounty Killer used his set to address the breakdown of what he termed 'old dancehall' values.
"There was a time when dancehall used to have a stance. This is not a flea market," he said, before reeling off the lyrics to Run Come Look Inna Mi Magnum as well as several other well-known hit songs.
'The Killer', whose real name is Rodney Price, urged the Sumfest crowd to support good music from the real artistes and to stop supporting those that berated women.
I-Octane closed the show with a great performance. He also used the opportunity to get at his musical rival singjay Mr Vegas.
Other standouts included Bugle; Mr Vegas, whose exciting face-off with female artiste Latty J was a huge hit; Assassin; Alkaline; Busy Signal; Rhyme Minister; and Aidonia. Spice's entertaining set saw her transforming herself - moustache and all -- as he delivered a winning Like a Man.
Reggae Sumfest concludes tonight with International Night II featuring artistes including Tessanne Chin, Sean Paul and American hip-hop artiste Future.