Pure Jamaican reggae music is alive and well and the lineup for Reggae Sumfest 2016 certainly proves that fact.
Billed as “Our Music, Our Festival”, Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica is one of the oval rock’s largest music festival each year. Since 1993, Sumfest has featured some of the premier talent in the genre, including Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Beres Hammond, Freddie McGregor, Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Capleton and many others.
Along with the elite performers from Jamaica, Sumfest has often times secured some of the most prominent performers worldwide, spanning all genres. In the past, patrons have witnessed performances from Usher, Rihanna, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Common, and Chris Brown, among others.
This upcoming edition of Sumfest will not feature any international artists. In a recent article with Jamaica Star,Joe Bogdanovich of Downsound Records whom recently acquired the Sumfest brand, described the 2016 edition as a transition year. It was stated that over the past few years, the overhead costs to secure an international act for the festival had become too expensive.
“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.”
Major music festivals do not just happen overnight, there is a process of fundraising, planning, negotiating, and securing the proper talent. Everything costs money, especially the top-tier acts from abroad. In some cases, a concert by the upper-echelon international performers come with a $2 Million price tag.
With no international artists for the 2016 edition, event producers have scrapped the international night of the festival, scaling back from three nights to two. Although there are no international performers, Bogdanovich’s intentions are to take the sweet sounds of Jamaica worldwide, featuring a 360 degree live stream of the two-night festival.
The rebranding of Sumfest as Reggae Sumfest is evident with the reggae and dancehall acts from Jamaica. The two-day festival will highlight the best dancehall acts on Friday, July 22nd and the best reggae acts on Saturday, July 23rd.
Dancehall night will feature performances by Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Popcaan, I-Octane, Romain Virgo, and many more, totaling 25 performers for one day of music.
Reggae night will feature the classic sounds of Barrington Levy, Tarrus Riley, Super Cat, Luciano, Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, among others. In all, the reggae night of Sumfest will feature 12 artists on stage.
For fans attending this festival in Jamaica, hopefully you booked your hotel rooms early. The majority of hotel rooms in Montego Bay and Negril have been sold out since May. However, if you are feeling spontaneous, tickets are still available, starting at $39 per night for General Admission and $62 for VIP.
The 2016 Reggae Sumfest will take place on July 22nd and 23rd at Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
For more information on Reggae Sumfest and to view the two-day festival live, follow the links below.