It’s hard to overstate the impact that the small Caribbean country of Jamaica (population: about 3 million) has had on music and pop culture worldwide. And Reggae Sumfest has been no small part of that legacy.
Reggae Sumfest , the annual summer reggae music festival that is held the 3rd week of July each year in Montego Bay, Jamaica was founded in 1993 by a production company called Summerfest Productions; Reggae Sumfest was a reaction to the fact that Reggae Sunsplash was to be no more and though that legendary festival was resurrected in 2006, Sumfest continues on.
The festival is one of the most anticipate staple on the Jamaican entertainment calendar; attracting millions from around the world each year, from as far away as Australia, Europe, the USA and the African continent that come to enjoy reggae music in the land of its birth along with other genres including hip hop, pop, rhythm & blues, jazz, and dancehall in the event dubbed “The Greatest Show on Earth”
Events for Reggae Sumfest are spread across Montego Bay. The main concerts are held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex (also known as the Bob Marley Entertainment Center).
In 2016, DownSound Entertainment, headed by Jamaican based music and media entrepreneur, Joseph Bogdanovich, purchased Reggae Sumfest from Summerfest Productions. The mission of Bogdanovich and his DownSound Entertainment Team was to turn Reggae Sumfest into a global media and festival property, taking authentic Jamaican music and culture to the world…and promoting what many term, “Brand Jamaica” to the world.
Reggae Sumfest often attracts young crowds, and features a variety of local and internationally recognized reggae and dancehall artistes who have graced the state at the event such Shaggy, Sean Paul, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley & the Ghetto Youths Crew, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer,Elephant Man, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Lady Saw, Sizzla, Jah Cure, Steel Pulse, Shabba Ranks, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, Beres Hammond, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Third World, Morgan Heritage, Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Buju Banton, Barrington Levy, Tarrus Riley, Protoje, I-Octane, Konshens, Queen Ifrica, Etana and many more.
In prior years, Reggae Sumfest once feautured an array of international based artistes, namely Usher,Chris Brown, Trey Songz, R Kelly, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Tito Jackson, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T-Pain, LL Cool J,Ludacris, Lionel Richie, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent & G-Unit, Jay-Z, Akon, Flo Rida, Ja Rule, Keshia Cole, Jazmine Sullivan, Keri Hilson, Nas, Fantasia Barino, Rihanna, Ashanti, Snoop Dogg, Boyz II Men, K-Ci & JoJo, Dru Hill, Ciara, Wyclef Jean, Joe, Blu Cantrell and the Temptations.