Looking back: Reggae Sumfest 1999 Image

by Biko Kennedy

A 'groomer of greats' since its inception, Reggae Sumfest have given Reggae lovers worldwide something other festivals haven't; breath-taking moments that seemingly leaves patrons mystified and yearning for more until the next staging. As the clock on the 21st showcasing ticks away, Jamaicansmusic.com looks back at the years that was and how it have evolved as time passes.

The year is 1999; Bounty Killer and Richie Stephens' Magnet was pulling everyone to their irresistible energy while Innocent Crew was the new crew on the block creating havoc with Tell A Gal Say and Impossible Train. The Bruk Out and Bug Riddim kept Madhouse Records hot in demand while Lexxus (Mr. Lexx) began creating a major buzz for himself with the single Ring Mi Cellie. Reggae Sumfest looks ahead to its seventh staging with every effort to bring something new to the festivities this year.

Heavyweight Countdown: Tuesday, August 3rd

Staged at Pier One, Montego Bay, the night featured Stone Love, Adonai, Renaissance and Pure Playaz discos, packing the evening with nonstop music.

Legends Night: Wednesday, August 4th

Featuring American vintage group the Temptations, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Leroy Sibbles, Derrick Morgan, Charlie Chaplin, Josie Wales and Brigadier Jerry, General Trees, Leroy Smart and backed by Lloyd Parkes and We The People Band; the night arguably had the best line up but the crowd support didn't live up to promoters' expectations.

Dancehall Night I – 'Zim Zimmer'; Thursday, August 5th

Starring Beenie Man, Mr. Vegas, Zebra, Tanto Metro and Devonte, Spragga Benz, Sean Paul, Hawkeye, Singing Melody, Shalom, Ward 21, Serial Kid, Jack-a-Diamonds, Kip Rich; the night's energy surpassed that of past stagings as Beenie Man made it a point of duty to give the crowd all he had to give.

Dancehall Night II – 'Can't Believe Mi Eye'; Friday, August 6th

Starring Bounty Killer, Baby Cham, General Degree, Red Rat, Goofy, Merciless, Mad Cobra, Tanya Stephens, Tony Curtis, Burro Banton, Lexxus, Lt. Elmo, Satta Ranks and Brilliant; the night drew mixed reviews in comparison to the previous night, but the jam-packed audience did enjoy the moment while it lasted.

Worl-A-Regga – Saturday, August 7th

Starring Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Morgan Heritage and the trio of Gregory Issacs, John Holt and Ken Boothe in a 'three-the-hard-way' tribute to Dennis Brown along with Dru Hill; the curtains came down on Sumfest on a high note. From Lovers Rock to Rhythm and Blues the crowd danced the night away to every beat that left the stage.

Sourced at the Gleaner Archives

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