Reggae Sumfest boss Joe Bogdanovich is encouraging event promoters, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the local entertainment industry to throw their support behind the Government's COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
He noted that widespread vaccination efforts will play an integral role in the return of Jamaica's entertainment industry and the national economy.
Bogdanovich, who participated in the Ministry of Health and Wellness' vaccination blitz last Saturday at the National Arena, highlighted that no major entertainment events have been held since February 2020, due to the pandemic, causing a massive dent in the pockets of the industry stakeholders. The long list of affected events includes two consecutive stagings of Reggae Sumfest, ordinarily the biggest and most anticipated event on Jamaica's entertainment calendar.
He noted, “For over a year, entertainers and other players in our local industry have not been able to practise their craft and that has led to a huge fallout for all of us. I took the vaccine as soon as the Government made it available, to not only protect myself but to also be an example to my colleagues that this is the only practical way forward. No one wants to see the full resumption of entertainment more than I do — Reggae Sumfest provides jobs and exposure for so many and is a major contributor to the economy. However, the reopening of the industry has to be done safely and responsibly, which is why I am urging my friends in the entertainment industry to get vaccinated as soon as it is made available.”
The significant losses mentioned by Bogdanovich have been supported by economic statistics. The week-long Reggae Sumfest event is reported to generate over $1 billion annually for the economy. Furthermore, studies show that the suspension of entertainment activities has led to an astronomical loss of over $100 billion for industry players and connected sectors, with over 76,000 direct and indirect jobs affected.