Babyface to grace Reggae Sumfest stage
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Having repositioned itself back in 2016 to embrace Jamaican entertainers and to showcase more local talent, it seems the organisers of the annual Reggae Sumfest are ready to bring back an ‘international flavour’ to the festival.
In an announcement made via their official Instagram page on Thursday, Reggae Sumfest revealed that international superstar Babyface will be making an appearance in Jamaica.
“We couldn’t keep it a secret much longer! Get ready to groove to the soulful rhythms of the legendary Babyface as he takes the stage at Reggae Sumfest 2024,” Sumfest posted to their IG with a picture of the entertainer.
Joining Babyface on the lineup so far is an internationally acclaimed star born on local soil, Beres Hammond. Babyface is set to perform on Festival Night Two on July 20, 2024, formerly known as International Night.
Sumfest also announced that this year’s tribute will pay homage to the contributions of dancehall artiste Rodney Pryce, also known as Bounty Killer.
Babyface’s appearance next year will mark the first time since 2015 that an international act has graced the Sumfest stage. At that time, singer Jennifer Hudson and rapper/actor Yazz The Greatest were the main acts on the show.
In justifying the move to cut international acts from the Sumfest lineup, Johnny Gourzong at the time told the media that organisers were shelling out in excess of $US 2 million to book international acts.
In an interview with Observer Online, Joe Bogdanovich expressed that with the entertainment industry being one of “supply and demand”, Reggae Sumfest is simply yielding to the request of its patrons to once more experience the joys of international superstars performing in Jamaica.
“We’re not bringing back the past per se; we’re just giving patrons what they want, and we’re starting with Babyface. We’re looking to give you some nice surprises for the festival on Friday night as well,” he said. “Sumfest is just reopening the doors to having international acts on the show again.
– Shereita Grizzle