Organizers of the annual Reggae Sumfest have announced that there will be no overseas acts on this year’s lineup.
But the big question among regular patrons is can local acts alone do it. Reggae Sumfest usually bills one or two international big name artist for the event. In the past stars such as Rihanna, Beyonce, Ashanti, Usher, Chris Brown, and more have graced the stage at Sumfest.
This year will be a lot different with Downsound head Joe Bogdanovich taking over the helm of the event through his acquisition.
“The kind of cost and money that is spent on international acts has become prohibitive,” Bogdanovich said. “We’d rather not spend money on the outside, but to support our own.”
Summerfest Productions outgoing executive Director, Johnny Gourzong, added that it usually cost organizers as much as US$2 million (J$248 million) to secure international acts for the show and that is driving ticket costs up.
“The time had come where we wanted to rebrand, and with Mr Bogdanovich’s transition into the company, it was just the right timing to rebrand Reggae Sumfest as a Reggae festival,” Gourzong said. “Dancehall has always been strong and we have always been very strong with the dancehall, and it will remain so, but there has been a whole renaissance of the reggae music. There has been a big revival in reggae music and the patrons, especially the tourists, will be coming out to see our top reggae acts in performance.”
Reggae Sumfest will also be scaled down from three nights to two nights. The 2016 staging will be held from July 17-23 at the Catherine Hall entertainment complex in Montego Bay.
The event will also be live stream for the first time.
Do you think local acts alone can bring a large crowd to Reggae Sumfest? Sound off in comments below.