LIVE performances from some of dancehall’s finest acts brought the curtains down on Reggae Sumfest, at Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay on the weekend.
Celebrating its 25th staging, Josef Bogdanovich — chairman of Summerfest Promotions, organisers of Reggae Sumfest — said he is pleased with how this year’s event unfolded.
“Based on the feedback from the patrons, everyone loved it. All seven nights exceeded our expectations. Friday and Saturday night were different as it relates to the type of performers, and the patrons turned out in their numbers for both nights,” he told Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Reggae Sumfest was held on July 16 to 22. The last two days featured live performances from acts including Stephen Marley, Alkaline, Dexta Daps, Mavado, Spice, Richie Stephens, the Ska Nation band, Cobra, Patoranking, and American rapper Tory Lanez.
Bogdanovich said intense preparation, which included a strategic international promotion, was one of the keys to the festival’s success.
“All of the international promotion paid off and our sponsors played a great part, especially the Jamaica Tourist Board and Red Stripe. Also, we had enough money to do the festival the way we wanted it,” he said.
Launches were held at Times Square in New York; Miami, Florida; and in Kingston, Jamaica.
The chairman said his vision is to see Reggae Sumfest competing with other international summer festivals.
“This is what a big league festival should look like. We are competing with some of the best reggae festivals in the world and, right now, we are there,” he said.
Bogdanovich said the crowd was a fantastic one, but was unable to immediately supply figures.
“It’s too early to give figures of how many people attended, but, based on feedback, it was very good,” he said.
This year’s staging featured cutting edge HD Broadcast and 360° live streaming. The event also boasted an acoustic cafe, food village and cabanas.
“Every feature that was promised was there and was exactly the way it should have been. We don’t believe in hype; I believe in getting the work done and making the festival to be one of the best in the world and so far, so good,” he said.
According to Bogdanovich, the festival brought US$5 million to the economy of Montego Bay, St James. Major north coast hotels also benefited from its staging.