The stage during a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest is shown here.

Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its look at the major stories which helped to shape 2021.

DAYS ago, Reggae Sumfest principal Josef Bogdanovich shared that he's optimistic the annual festival will be held this year, despite growing fears associated with the Omicron strain of the novel coronavirus.

“Sumfest is definitely on. We've raised the bar in the virtual space so we're planning to go live... It's simply the best show on earth. It's going to be awesome,” he said.

“I'm looking forward to a big, prosperous, and fun July 2022,” he continued, while adding details will be shared at the end of this month.

Last year's staging of Reggae Sumfest was, however, yanked from the entertainment calendar due to the onslaught of the novel coronavirus.

Bogdanovich sang a different tune then.

“In consultation with the Office of the Prime Minister and the ministries of health, tourism and entertainment, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Reggae Sumfest. While we hope and expect COVID-19 to be contained with the public's continued cooperation, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by the Ministry of Health and your local public health officials,” said Bogdanovich, who is CEO of DownSound Records, in a release.

“Reggae Sumfest will continue to focus on its mission to celebrate Jamaica's music and culture through every channel available,” said Bogdanovich.

He cites vaccination as way forward.

“I believe vaccinations do work, to some extent, and people are not getting as sick as they were before. People are building immunity to various strains of the virus and we have to move on and live on,” he said.

First held in 1993, Reggae Sumfest has featured dancehall's elite such as Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Lady Saw and Capleton. International acts including TI, Common, Usher, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, Ne-Yo, Mary J Blige, and Alicia Keys have also performed on the show.

Josef Bogdanovich
BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto & Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

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