Dancehall / News

Reggae Sumfest 2020 Officially Canceled Due To COVID-19

The 2020 Reggae Sumfest, which was booked for mid-July, has officially been dropped from the itinerary due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After announcing that there was news to come, pretty much-prepping fans for the cancellation of Sumfest, the festival promoters have finally made the call. Joe Bogdanovich, Chairman, and CEO of DownSound Entertainment, affirmed on Monday that due to the pandemic, the live event like many others will be postponed to next year.

“In consultation with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministries of Health, Tourism, and Entertainment, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Reggae Sumfest 2020 to July 18th – 24th, 2021,” Bogdanovich announced in a press release. “While we hope and expect COVID-19 to be contained with the public’s continued cooperation, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff, and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by the Ministry of Health and your local public health officials,” he said.

According to the event promoters, existing tickets purchased online will still be valid for 2021 if a refund has not been requested. If patrons wish to refund, however, they have up to 30 days to do so. The reimbursement can be requested on the Eventbrite page where the tickets were originally purchased.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Reggae Sumfest brand has created a food distribution program to donate to farmers and people in need. “Reggae Sumfest will continue to focus on its mission to celebrate Jamaica’s music and culture through every channel available,” said Bogdanovich.

Reggae Sumfest has brought a vast amount of income to Jamaica every year. As a result of the cancellation, it will be felt at all commerce levels, especially the small vendors, etc. who rely on these massive events to generate revenue. It’s a major blow to small and medium-sized businesses, but it’s a necessary part of flattening the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of the artists who were slated to hit the Sumfest stage in July include the headliners, Grammy Kid Koffee and Love and Hip-Hop star Spice. Also, having a setlist was newcomer Stalk Ashley and veteran Shabba Ranks. The event organizers have not confirmed if the lineup will remain the same. Hopefully, the social distancing practices we are currently observing will not span another Sumfest event.