Less than two months since staging another successful Reggae Sumfest music festival in Montego Bay, promoter Joe Bogdanovich and his crew at DownSound Entertainment (DSE) are already busy shaping plans for the next staging.
The promoter is promising a much improved staging of the iconic festival in 2019 for Reggae Sumfest 27, which is to be held next July.
which was staged last July 15-22 in Montego Bay, was greeted as probably the best-ever, even with the presence of the state of emergency .
This is despite the fact that back in 2016 Reggae Sumfest outclassed the opposition to retain its ranking, and earn the Concert of the Year award at the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), beating out fellow nominees – Best of the Best in Florida and Rebel Salute 9 Miles Music Festival, and Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival.
But, 2017 turned out to be much better and 2018 has been considered the best so far, especially for its stunning new venue design, reminiscent of large international festivals, as well as a tremendous line-up.
Thousands of festival patrons, who turned up despite the presence of a state of emergency affecting opening and closing hours for events and venues, enjoyed the sounds of some of the biggest names in dancehall and reggae, including Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Popcaan, Beres Hammond, and Spice, while also tapping into some promising new acts, like Rygin King.
It is however the numbers that tell the real story of Sumfest’s success, and this year, ticket sales exceeded all expectations, with categories like VIP sold-out far ahead of the festival nights.
The festival grounds were packed to capacity on July 21 and 22, but it was the online streaming’s numbers that really exceeded all expectations.
Bogdanovich, who is never known to produce a bad or failing reggae event since he fell in love with the genre in the 1990s, attributes much of this success to early planning.
Commenting on the success of the event and the plans being put in place to improve the 2019 staging, Bogdanovich says that he will certainly continue to invest in Jamaica and seek to add value to the Jamaican brand.
“With Sumfest, we really want to grow the local music industry, to ensure the world knows we have a great product, and showcase amazing Jamaican acts who can provide quality entertainment to our patrons,” he said.
“We want to continue adding value to our sponsors, as they make a significant contribution to this event and brand Jamaica,” he added.
He said that in 2019, Reggae Sumfest will also feature a larger space for Jamaican artistes to showcase their talent.
Currently, DownSound is looking to forge more partnerships for the 27th staging, to make it live up to the label as the best reggae show on the Earth, he said.
This will include increased flights into the island, and more accommodations for the expected increased influx of patrons.