Can Local Acts Alone Pull Crowd For Reggae Sumfest ?

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.

Joe Bogdanovich Bought Reggae Sumfest Now The New Chairman

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.



  1. The question that should be posed pertains to whether or not Reggae & Dancehall acts are capable of pulling the requisite crown and if that answer is no, then there should be no Reggae Sumfest. If Sumfest is truly a Reggae/Dancehall event, then its principal acts should be of the Reggae and Dancehall persusation…

  2. For just local acts alone it will have to be a one night event. Reggae Sumfest need an overseas artist.

    • They just need to organise it better. There are some really good reggae artistes in Jamaica who could use this platform for exposure. I’ve said it before, international REGGAE artistes NOT rap, r&b because the event is about celebrating reggae music so promote reggae artistes from all over the world as well our local talent. They could have different genres for example dancehall nite, lovers night, roots and culture night. Let’s see what he’s going to do.

    • Not necessarily true; Rebel Salute is a multi-night even that is growing–with little or no Dancehall acts. I don’t have any issues with overseas artiste as you put it; however, said overseas artiste can and should be of the Reggae/Dancehall persuasion…