Sumfest stimulus

Sumfest stimulus

Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

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Josef Bogdanovich is predicting increased inflows into the economy of Montego Bay and its environs during this year's staging of Reggae Sumfest set for July 14-20.

Bogdanovich is principal of Summerfest Productions Limited, organisers of Reggae Sumfest, and head of Downsound Entertainment.

Now in its 26th year, the multi-day music festival has always been credited with bringing money into Montego Bay and surrounding areas, but this year Bogdanovich sees this increasing due to a number of factors.

“It is a very exciting year for the economy of MoBay as it relates to Reggae Sumfest. If you look at the Jamaica Tourist Board's figures, they believe each visitor spends an average of US$500 per day while on vacation in Jamaica. We believe this figure is low and that is considerably more during the Sumfest period, when you take into account that persons are coming in for longer period. This is the summer holiday and a lot of the visitors are Jamaicans. They are using the opportunity to see friends and family, so with an extended stay, comes increased spending,” Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer.

“A lot of the visitors are also using Airbnb accommodations as opposed to all-inclusive resorts. This generates even more funds for the community. Airbnbs are really taking up a huge chunk of the demand for accommodation for Reggae Sumfest, because the truth is it is very hard to find a hotel room in MoBay at this time, and so the Airbnbs are going fast,” he continued.

This year, Reggae Sumfest made a strategic effort to push the festival in a number of previously untapped markets overseas. For the first time, the festival held a launch in Trinidad to tap into reggae lovers from that sister Caribbean island. This was in addition to similar efforts in New York and Florida. This, Bogdanovich noted, is paying dividends as reflected in the number of advanced tickets being purchased from these locations.

“The spread is widening. We are seeing ticket sales from a number of countries in South America, which shows us the pockets on the map where reggae is loved and appreciated. This year's line-up is also contributing to the increased visitors. A lot of these persons have not had an opportunity to see Buju Banton at his show in Kingston in March or any other event since his release and they are definitely making the trip to Reggae Sumfest to catch him here.” he said.

This year's festival will open on Juy 14 with 'Morning Medz', a breakfast party at Tropical Beach. On Monday, July 15 Reggae Sumfest 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. It is all about the Global Sound Clash on Thursday July 18 at Pier 1. Ricky Trooper, Pink Panther, Yard Beat and King Turbo will compete for top honours.

The performances begin at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre on Friday, July 19. Those taking to the stage on the first night include Chronixx, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Spice, Agent Sasco, Dexta Daps, Squash Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Munga, Govanna, and Dovey Magnum.

The festival culminates on Saturday, July 20, with heavyweights Buju Banton, and Beres Hammond as well as Protoje, Romain Virgo, Chris Martin, Dalton Harris, Jah9 and Etana.

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