This summer, the hottest names in reggae and dancehall will gather once again in Montego Bay, Jamaica for Reggae SumFest. 23 years running, 2016’s Reggae SumFest will takes place July 17-23. Though the official lineup has yet to be announced, the festival’s alumni list includes top tier recording artists from Jamaica and beyond.
Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Toots The Maytals, Dennis Brown, Vybz Kartel, Jah Cure, Buju Banton, make up just a short list of the numerous Jamaican artists who have performed at the annual summer music festival. A host of international stars have also taken the stage in Montego Bay, including Rihanna, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Alicia Keys.
Reggae SumFest was recently acquired by Joseph Bogdanovich and his Jamaican music organization, DownSound Records Entertainment. Bogdanovich brings decades of experience organizing major concerts and festivals. His family were founding partners of 3 legendary concert companies Pinnacle, Pacific Presentations, and Avalon Attractions. Those companies produced concerts for iconic artists like The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and David Bowie.
Right off the bat Bogdanovich vowed to tweak the festival’s formula, an effort to improve the appeal of SumFest internationally while still pleasing the domestic crowd. This year’s festival will focus on supporting homegrown Jamaican acts. In fact, it was revealed that no international artists will perform this time around. Some have voiced their frustrations of not being able to see big name global stars come July, but others have expressed excitement to support Jamaica’s current class of emergent reggae and dancehall greats.
Robert Russell and Johnny Gourzong, original founders of SumFest, have stayed on with Bogdanovich to help further build the brand of the festival. Gourzong believes the time is perfect to re-brand the festival, moving away from international pop stars and towards the abundance of local reggae artists deserving of the limelight.
Gourzong noted, “there has been a whole renaissance of the reggae music,” and added, “the patrons, especially the tourists, will be coming out to see our top reggae acts in performance.”
Joseph Bogdanovich and his team are striving to make SumFest a marquee event celebrated around the world. To broaden the reach of the festival beyond the Caribbean island’s shores, SumFest 2016 will feature “an immersive interactive 360° Virtual Reality Live Video Stream to mobile devices, headsets, tablets and computers.”
Many will make the trip to Jamaica for the July festival, but now reggae and dancehall fans from all corners of the globe will have the chance to experience all the music, dancing, and excitement even if they can’t travel to Montego Bay.
Stay tuned for more details regarding this festival…
Reggae SumFest Website
Article By: Brian Winters
Watch: Welcome to Reggae SumFest 2016
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