Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chris Martin, Alkaline, Queen Ifrica and Spice to Ignite Reggae Sumfest

Reggae Sumfest 2017 will end its week-long festival on a high note with an exciting two-night concert at Catherine Hall. For the 25th staging, Night One will feature the Champion Boy, Alkaline along with the Spice, “Stage Show Boss”, who is set to give her fiery brand of performance. Night Two is also brewing a force of Reggae as patrons will be swept off their feet with Sugar Reggae from Christopher Martin and the lifted Conscious defender Queen Ifrica.

Patrons can expect high-energy shows with a combination of powerful performances with dynamic visuals on stage and an atmosphere filled with all that is right with Jamaica.

Josef Bogdanovich, of Downsound Entertainment, organisers of Reggae Sumfest is pleased with the return of Alkaline and Queen Ifrica to the Reggae Sumfest stage.

“Queen Ifrica last performed in 2010 and Alkaline at the 2014 staging of the Festival and since that time both have grown professionally. They have further cemented their fan-base, who have propelled us to ensure their inclusion in this year’s event,” he explained.

Alkaline, whose given name is Earlan Bartley, has amassed a huge following since his last appearance on Reggae Sumfest and fans can expect  a hardcore performance to include hits such as Spoil YouRide on MeBadness It Name and Extra Lesson. Last year, with his New Level Unlocked album, Alkaline became the first Dancehall artiste since 2011 to top the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. Since then, the Champion Boy has reaped musical successes and has expanded his entrepreneurial skills with the Vendetta clothing line.  The artiste will lead the Dancehall charge at this year’s event along with the reigning Dancehall Princess Spice.
Spice, born as Grace Hamilton will get fans dancing on Night One with her mega-hits So Mi Like It and Indicator and will continue to promote her new single Sheet. The hardest working woman in Dancehall recently released a remix to the single Indicator with Soca star Bungi Garlin. Spice, continues to engage fans with her music, dances and authentic persona, three very powerful aspects of the dancehall culture.  Fans can expect a lyrically potent performance from Spice, who recently released a hardcore diss track called Prison Warder to remind detractors of her power. Spice will make way for another Charge on Night Two at Catherine Hall, set to lead by Reggae royalty.

After a six year hiatus, award winning singer and songwriter Ventrice Morgan, aka Queen Ifrica, returns to the Reggae Sumfest Stage on Night Two with her message of upliftment and truth. Her third studio album, Climb became available on March 3 and features the new single Trueversation, which features Damian “Junior Gong” Marley. Armed with new material and a resolve to seek justice for women and children fans can expect a powerful performance riddled with her signature style of confidence and charm.

Also appearing on Night Two is reggae singer, Christopher Martin. He continues to gain popularity in Jamaica and other key reggae markets for what he calls “real-life music”.  The artiste last month released his 16-track album Big Deal, which debuted at number three on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. Martin, who is currently on a United States Tour will give his fans his version of music he calls “Sugar Reggae”.

Reggae Sumfest 2017 kicked off on Sunday, July 16 with a Beach Party and moved into the Sumfest at Sunset Yacht Party on Monday, July 17. The staple All-White Party at Pier One happens on Tuesday, July 18 followed by Sumfest Blitz on Wednesday, July 19. On Thursday, July 20 Pier-One will play host to the exciting Sumfest Heavyweight Clash, then culminates at Catherine Hall on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 with the pulsating rhythms of music and Jamaican culture.

Early bird tickets and travel packages go on sale exclusively on the official www.reggaesumfest.com website in February and patrons can look forward to more updates on the line-up and events for Reggae Sumfest 2017.

Reggae Sumfest: Virtual access granted to millions worldwide

The world will be watching the best of Reggae and Dancehall on stage at Reggae Sumfest when the main concert opens onFriday, July 21 at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay. Red Stripe presents Reggae Sumfest 25 will raise the bar in the quality of food offerings, venue layout and worldwide accessibility.

Continuing last year’s remarkable decision to grant access to the world via the 360 Virtual reality and HD Live streams more fans will join the mammoth 25th staging of the greatest show on earth.

With a revamped format, Reggae Sumfest introduced free High Definition (HD) live stream and a 360 Virtual reality access via an app in 2016. Fans across the globe who were unable to witness the performances first hand, were gifted ‘front row seats’ via their smart devices including cell phones, tablets, computers and TVs. Capitalizing on that success, the festival will again be embarking on live High Definition (HD) streams which will cover on stage performances as well as a 360 Virtual reality stream that gives easy access to activities on stage, backstage and general venue.

Sepp Donahower who is in charge of streaming, says this year will see a director maneuvering between some four to six camera shots of the main stage, back stage and the media booth, for global broadcast. He added “We make players for these live streams, that are embeddable and what we do is email those to various third party websites so that those websites can also show the live streams on their homepage for their fans.”

The emailed streams will be sent to reggae websites in France, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Japan and North America, while here in Jamaica, fans can access the streams via the official Reggae Sumfest website.

Last year’s efforts were well received and reaped positive feedback. 360 live streams showcased the Festival free for over 500,000 live individual views. A further 2 million plus views on You Tube one week after the festival signaled increased global demand for the event. Following the 2016 festival, there are some 90,000 videos taken from the Live Stream now being actively watched on YouTube.

“The world loves Jamaican music and this is a grand celebration and we invite the world to join us. We are looking for ways to expand the access that the world has to Jamaican music and the live stream provides that opportunity for us,” stated Joseph Bogdanovich, the owner of DownSound Entertainment, producers of Reggae Sumfest.

In addition to the regular V.I.P. section, patrons in search of an upgraded VIP experience will have that opportunity through the new V.V.I.P/Ultra V.I.P options. These elevated platforms on both sides of the main stage will offer not only seating, but covered cabanas, complimentary bottle service, special parking, hostesses, additional security and appreciation packages. The complements will vary based on the selected option which is broken down into 3rd tier, 2nd tier, tier and Ultra.

Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica’s premiere music festival kicks off with a Beach Party themed “The Adult Playground” to be hosted by Yanique “The Curvy Diva” Barrett at Tropical Bliss Beach on Sunday, July 16, which will make way for Sumfest at Sunset, an inaugural sea cruise which leaves the Pier 1 dock on Monday, July 17. Pier 1 will be the hot spot for the All White Party on Tuesday, July 18 and the Blitz Retro Block Party with Stone Love, Swatch International and veteran entertainer Mr. Lexx on Wednesday, July 19Thursday, July 20 will then see Pier 1 host the Heavy Weight Sound Clash featuring Black Chiney and Bishop Escobar before the iconic venue Catherine Hall takes over for the highly-anticipated Night 1 and Night 2 on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22.

Patrons are reminded of the Drink Right policy which enforces “no ID, no liquor”.  Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com and ticket outlets island wide. For further details, visit www.reggaesumfest.com.

Reggae Sumfest remains a Safe Zone

The organisers of Reggae Sumfest are maintaining the No Weapons policy at this year’s staging of the now week long festival set to take place from Sunday, July 16 through to Saturday, July, 22 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The safety of attendees is very important and as such law enforcers and security personnel will be searching patrons upon entry.

With the escalation of violent crimes being a major concern across the island, Robin Russell, Head of Security for Reggae Sumfest says “based on the climate, with the level of violence, we will be even more vigilant in enforcing the rules. The police are on board and they will be vigilant to ensure that the patrons are safe.”

Some 300 security personnel, including members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and trained officials from private security firms will be engaged on each performance night of the Festival.

A confident Russell believes Red Stripe presents Reggae Sumfest will remain a safe zone, based on the history of the 25-year-old festival. “There has never been a major security concern at Sumfest,” shares the security specialist.

Patrons are advised to take steps to ensure their personal safety. Turn on the GPS on mobile phones, car pool, travel in authorised public vehicles, tell family members your whereabouts, travel with an ID, travel with friends, and purchase tickets from authorized outlets only. Festival goers are also encouraged to leave weapons at home, drink responsibly and be alert on the journey back home in case they are followed.

Medical safety is also a factor when attending festivals. As such, Reggae Sumfest has put the necessary measures in place to ensure a medical team is in place for the week of festivities, should there be emergencies. Attendees are also encouraged to travel with medication and/or wear medical bracelets.

Themed “Our Music, Our Festival”, Reggae Sumfest is Jamaica’s premiere music festival and kicks off with “The Adult Playground” Beach Party to be hosted by Yanique “The Curvy Diva” Barrett at Tropical Bliss Beach on Sunday, July 16. This will make way for Sumfest at Sunset, an inaugural sea cruise which leaves the Pier 1 dock on Monday, July 17. Pier 1 will be the hot spot for the All White Party on Tuesday, July 18 and the Blitz Retro Block Party with Stone Love, Swatch International, Ward 21, and veteran entertainers Sky Juice and Mr. Lexx on Wednesday, July 19

Thursday, July 20 will then see Pier 1 host the Heavy Weight Sound Clash with juggling from Black Chiney and Bishop Escobar before the exciting clash between Germany based Warrior Sound International, clash champions No Limit Sound, Yard Beat and Soul Supreme. To bring the week to a climatic end, iconic venue Catherine Hall takes over for the highly-anticipated Night 1 and Night 2 on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22.

Patrons are reminded of the Drink Right policy which enforces “no ID, no liquor”.  Tickets are available atwww.eventbrite.com and ticket outlets island wide. For further details, visit www.reggaesumfest.com.

Sumfest Beach Party kicks off Reggae Sumfest 25 in style

Robert Russell (left) and Josef Bogdanovich of DownSound Entertainment,
producers of Reggae Sumfest were in good hands with Beach Bunny Alicia
during the Reggae Sumfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 16 at Tropical Bliss.

Reggae Sumfest 25 got off to a sizzling start as the Beach Party at Tropical Bliss on Sunday, July 16 reached fever pitch. Dubbed ‘The Adult Playground’ the theme did not disappoint as patrons danced and vibed to the sounds of Coppershot’s Marc Chin and Cutty, Chris Dymond, Team Shella and Montego Bay’s Dexta Peppa and Jigga.

Patrons were not deterred by the rains as they turned the Tropical Bliss Beach venue into a dance floor and partied with the Sumfest Beach party hosts Yanique ‘Curvy Diva’ Barrett and Mz Lady Ice from Dexta Daps’ infamous Owner video. The night went into overdrive as the ladies put on a show that had entertained shocked and lived up to the ‘Adult Playground’ theme.

The selections were on point from the DJs as they had the patrons collectively dancing to the electric slide, bringing them through various eras and genres with smooth transitions to frenzy for Aidonia’s Yeah Yeah.  The party continued into the evening with the sounds of Maria Maria were mixed into DJ Khalid’s modern remake Wild Thoughts and expertly transitioned after a few mixes to Ding Dong’s Fling as the DJs delivered well rounded sets. By the approach of, midnight party goers were found prancing around the water swings and the Red Stripe swim up bar fully immersed in the party atmosphere and enjoying the vibes.

Josef Bogdanovich, CEO of DownSound Entertainment was pleased with the execution of the first event to kick off Reggae Sumfest 25 and expects the momentum to carry over into the other events leading up to the highly anticipated live shows on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22.

“I was excited about the Festival before but after tonight I am even more energized about it. We wanted to bring to patrons a world class production complemented by quality entertainment and I think we achieved that with the Beach Party. The best sight to me was when the rain came and nobody moved! Everyone stayed and partied and the DJs and hosts were amazing. Tonight is an indication that Reggae Sumfest 25 will be one of the best we have had,” said Bogdanovich.

Reggae Sumfest continues today (Tuesday, July 18) with the All White party at Pier One, then the Sumfest Blitz Retro Block Party onWednesday, July 19 also at Pier One. The Heavyweight Soundclash will take over the same venue on Thursday night before Reggae Sumfest 25 culminates with two live shows on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex, featuring the likes of Alkaline, Aidonia, Tory Lanez, Sean Paul, Mavado and Spice alongside a host of other top acts.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Pepsi looks to Refresh Reggae Sumfest 25

 Dancehall artiste Beenie Man hung out with Mitch Watson, Marketing Manager at Pepsi Jamaica
 during the launch of Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest on Thursday, May 11 at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records. 


Pepsi Cola Jamaica has agreed to a new partnership with DownSound Entertainment, organizers of Reggae Sumfest, which will see the company supporting the festival for the next three years. The partnership was announced by DownSound Entertainment’s CEO Josef Bogdanovich ahead of the milestone 25th staging of Reggae Sumfest slated July 16 – 22 in Montego Bay.

Bogdanovich revealed that Pepsi has been a long time supporter of the festival and has signaled their continued support with a 3 year contract extension and believes the partnership will grow even stronger in years to come. “I think this speaks volumes on Pepsi’s belief in the festival and the re-energised direction it is now on. I feel good that such an international brand like Pepsi supports Reggae Music and Reggae Sumfest and I think they are a part of the corporate community who are now seeing the value and positive contribution of Reggae Music and festivals here at home,” said Bogdanovich.

Bogdanovich went on to express that he is proud to have sponsors such as Pepsi who support the vision of Reggae Sumfest and believes the new direction the festival is taking will contribute to the growth of the local economy.

Mitch Watson, Marketing Manager at Pepsi Cola Jamaica offers was proud to share that “since music remains an essential component of the brand’s DNA, it is only fitting for the brand to continue this long held relationship with the leading music festival in the country”. Expressing high expectations for the 25th staging of the now week-long festival, Watson expressed that Pepsi is hoping to “bring a renewed energy to the event and with our island wide promotion of the Pepsi Refresh Tour, we will be using the opportunity to promote the festival across the island”.

Tickets, season bands and Cabana packages for Red Stripe presents Reggae Sumfest are now available in ticket outlets island-wide and on  www.eventbrite.com. Patrons are reminded of the Drink Right policy which enforces “no ID, no liquor” as you must be 18 years and older to drink. Owned by Joseph Bogdanovich and produced by his company DownSound Entertainment Limited, the weeklong festival is staged in Montego Bay, begins on Sunday, July 16 with the Beach Party, the staple All-White Party at Pier One happens on Tuesday, July 18. Sumfest Blitz takes place on Wednesday, July 19 and the exciting Sumfest Heavyweight Clash will be held on Thursday, July 20 at Pier-One. The festival climaxes at the historic Catherine Hall on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 with live music featuring Jamaica's top music artistes.