Joe Bogdanovich

Downsounds Records CEO, Joe Bogdanovich, is the new chairman of Summerfest Productions, the promoter behind the annual Reggae Sumfest music festival in Jamaica.

Bogdanovich has been rumored for weeks to be partnering with with the Sumfest to attract a bigger audience for the show this year. But now former chairman Robert Russell, has confirmed that the American businessman is taking over the reigns of the company after reaching a deal three weeks ago.

“We needed some new pairs of eyes with new energy,” Russell said. “He has a wealth of experience and lots of contacts, both here and overseas, as well as some visionary ideas, including streaming the festival in 3D. This will be the first time it’ll be done. It’s going to be amazing. Also, we’re looking at doing a North American tour.”

Johnny Gourzong will remain the shows executive producer and Tina Davis the festival manager.

Robert Russell also assures patrons that the Reggae Sumfest format will remain the same and that the show will not become a dancehall based show despite Bogdanovich’s heavy ties in dancehall through Downsound Records.

“The show will basically remain the same,” Russel said. “We may have sound system play-off on the Thursday night at Pier One, but we’re still in the planning stages,” he said.

Joe Bogdanovich is the head of Downsound Records and also major shareholder in Kingston Live Entertainment Group, the company behind Famous Nightclub in Portmore and Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records in Kingston.

Reggae Sumfest held its first show back in 1993 and grown into the biggest reggae show in the world featuring both local and international acts like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Sean Paul, Buju Banton, Beyonce, Rihanna, Usher, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, Ne-Yo and more.

Reggae Sumfest 2016 will be held on July 17-23 at the Catherine Hall entertainment complex in Montego Bay.