Plans afoot for Reggae Sumfest 2019

By Balford Henry
Observer senior reporter

Saturday, September 15, 2018

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It has been less than two months since the staging of Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, but promoter Joe Bogdanovich of Downsound Entertainment (DSE) is already busy shaping plans for an improved staging of the annual festival in 2019.

Reggae Sumfest took place from July 15-22 in Montego Bay, featured a redesigned venue reminiscent of international festivals, and a strong all-reggae line-up.

Thousands of festival patrons, who turned up despite a state of emergency in Montego Bay which affects the opening and closing hours for events and venues. Among the artistes who entertained were Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Popcaan, Beres Hammond, and Spice, while also tapping into some promising new acts, like Rygin King.

It is however the numbers that tell the real story of Sumfest's success. According to the promoters, this year, ticket sales exceeded expectations, with categories like VIP sold out far ahead of the festival nights. The festival grounds were packed to capacity on July 21 and 22.

Commenting on the success of the event and the plans being put in place to improve the 2019 staging, Bogdanovich said that he will certainly continue to invest in Jamaica and seek to add value to the Jamaican brand.

“With Sumfest, we really want to grow the local music industry, to ensure the world knows we have a great product, and showcase amazing Jamaican acts who can provide quality entertainment to our patrons,” he said.

“We want to continue adding value to our sponsors, as they make a significant contribution to this event and brand Jamaica,” he added.

He said that in 2019, Reggae Sumfest will feature a larger space for Jamaican artistes to showcase their talent.

Currently, Downsound is looking to forge more partnerships for the 2019 staging, to make it live up to the label as the best reggae show on the Earth, he said.

This will include increased flights into the island, and more accommodations for the expected increased influx of patrons.

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