At a launch party held at the Iberostar Hotel in Montego Bay on Wednesday night (June 18th), Johnny Gourzong, Summerfest Production boss, said the organisers went back to the drawing board and have raised the bar even higher to mark this year's 22nd staging.
"Every year, we get together to plan this event. We believe in raising the bar as we are building our brand, and although the reach is fantastic right now, it is also important that we go back to the drawing board year after year with our team and come with a better product for our patrons," Gourzong said.
A much larger VIP area is among the improvements that Gourzong and his team will initiate come July 17, when the stage show aspect of the festival kicks off at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre with Dancehall Night. On that night too, Stone Love and Bass Oddessy, will be honoured for their contribution to building Jamaica's music brand.
Gourzong revealed that the two sound systems were chosen for special recognition "because they have played an integral role in developing Jamaica's music, especially dancehall".
Several performers, including Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, Mr Vegas, Ryme Minister, Baby Tash, Alkaline, Aidonia, Spice and QQ are down to grace the stage on Dancehall Night. Fan favourite, I-Octane, will once again perform closing duties.
In keeping with the longstanding tradition of bringing the 'who's who' in international R&B and hip hop over the last 21 years, International nights one and two, promise some special performances.
On International night one, Wiz Khalifa and Jason Derulo will be sharing the stage with local artistes such as Beenie Man, Jah Cure, Nature, Chronixx, Shuga and Jesse Royal.
On International Night Two, which is also closing night, Future, best known for his hit single Love Song, featuring Rihanna, will be performing alongside other local icons such as Tessanne Chin, Sean Paul, Sanchez and Freddie McGregor, who will be honoured by the festival for his notable achievements in reggae music.
Montegonians in particular will not want to miss out on this night as local upcoming artiste, Prissy G, will also be gracing the Sumfest stage for the first time.
Several sponsors are again on board, including The Gleaner Company Ltd, Pepsi, Digicel, Royalton White Sands, Iberostar and Secrets hotels.
Speaking at the launch, The Gleaner's Janet Silvera, highlighted the continued international interest in Reggae Sumfest and why it was necessary to support the event.
"Our relationship spans more than four years and we would not have stayed had we not truly felt that Reggae Sumfest is still the festival of choice in Jamaica and, indeed, for reggae lovers around the world. It has continued to preserve our rich indigenous music and so it is crucial that Sumfest continues to go on," Silvera said.
Original story by The Gleaner: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140621/ent/ent1.html