The launch was open to the masses this year as promoters opted to give those in attendance a taste of what to expect from the three night long festival. Several presentations were made at the beginning of the night including from Sumfest organizer Johnny Gourzong, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna and Red Stripe's Kamal Powell who unravelled celebratory plans for the festival's 20th anniversary and Jamaica's 50th year of Independence concurrently. Attendees were teased by artistes 'drops', endorsing the event and confirming their attendance among them Shabba Ranks, Popcaan, Trey Song, Christopher Martin and R. Kelly. The crowd became even more enthralled by the entertainment package of the night as booked acts such as I-Octane and Tommy Lee took to the stage, as a prelude of what is to come for their actual performance.
For diamond sponsors Red Stripe, the launch would be the first event of their Red Stripe Light Hi-Lights of Summer Campaign. Jamaicansmusic.com caught up with Brand PR Manager LeVaughn Flynn at the launch, who gave us an exclusive insider on his brand's plans for Reggae Sumfest 20th anniversary in relation to their campaign. The Red Stripe Light Flavours (Lime, Apple and Ginger), he explained, will be the products at the forefront of the campaign which incidentally were sold at the launch party for a discounted price of $100. In an effort to remain innovative and different, the brand focuses its attention on the look and feel of the festival, and as such Flynn shared, "We are going to have a beach in the middle of Sumfest." As a preview of their "City Beach" theme Red Stripe constructed a makeshift beach bar at the launch party to create the summer "chill" vibes from the onset. The beer company seeks also to breathe new life into the Sumfest Beach Party which is slated to take place the Sunday before the actual festival.
A part from another Reggae Sumfest launch party that will be held in Montego Bay, the series of events associated with the festival will run from 15th July to 21st July. The three nights long show (19th-21st) includes performances from high profile artistes such as Damain Marley, Tarrus Riley, R.Kelly , Trey Songz and a tribute to some of Jamaican music 'Greats'.