Reggae Sumfest was started in 1993 by Robert Russell and Johnny Gourzong, along with a dedicated group of Montego Bay business and cultural interests after Reggae Sunsplash left Montego Bay on its journey into unfortunate demise. Reggae Sumfest then thrived and adapted through decades, incorporating performances during the coming years of some of the biggest stars in music, including Rihanna, Kanye West, Usher, Christopher Brown, Alicia Keys, Nicky Minaj, 50 Cent, Lionel Ritchie, and numerous other international stars. Faithfully, it also presented the greatest and most authentic lineups of the Jamaican and International stars of Reggae and Dancehall artists such as Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley, Dennis Brown, Toots & The Maytals, Beres Hammond, Burning Spear, The Mighty Diamonds, Sugar Minott, Gregory Issacs, Frankie Paul, Jimmy Cliff, Freddie McGregor, Tarrus Riley, Barrington Levy, Chronixx, Buju Banton, Luciano, Shaggy, Shabba Ranks, Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer, Ninja Man, Elephant man, Beenie Man, Capleton, Lady Saw, Spice, Popcaan, Tommy Lee Sparta, and virtually every artist of merit in the world of Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall music. Besides being the largest music festival in Jamaica, Reggae Sumfest is truly the most authentic
Reggae and Dancehall Festival in the world.
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. Many predicted the 2016 edition of Reggae Sumfest would not do well under the new stewardship…but the exact opposite occurred…It set attendance and global streaming records. Bogdanovich and his DownSound Jamaica Team also brought in skilled global veterans in the media, festival, and concert business to help upgrade and modernize the festival into a top tier global property. They also sought to preserve the Jamaica roots and authenticity, and gave the festival renewed focus on Jamaican artists and culture with the mantra “Our Music Our Festival”. Also added, were cutting edge Video Live Streams in both HD Broadcast format and 360° Surround Video that were highly promoted for months globally, and streamed to the world on multiple media platforms. Viewership of the Live Streams ran into the hundreds of thousands of views from all over the world. Archival videos from Reggae Sumfest now number around 100,000 videos on Youtube, with views in the hundreds of millions. The festival itself was promoted months on end through well managed global digital campaigns that had huge global penetration in the tens of millions, hitting web traffic, searches, youtube, facebook, Reggae /Dancehall / Music / Lifestyle websites, and other platforms on a massive global scale.
The mission….enhance and establish Reggae Sumfest as a truly global festival and media property presenting a world class authentic Jamaican musical and cultural experience.
In 2017, Bogdanovich and DownSound made a multi year presenting sponsorship partnership with Heineken / Red Stripe. Downsound Entertainment and Red Stripe began a global marketing program taking the Reggae Sumfest and Red Sripe brands to the world with true Jamaican authenticity and character. 2017also again featured cutting edge live streaming highly promoted and distributed on multiple platforms all over the world. Bogdanovich and DownSound also partnered up with the Jamaica Tourist Board to promote attendance and travel from all over the world. Soft drink giant Pepsi also came on board with a multi year marketing partnership as well. 2017 was the first year of Reggae Sumfest launching a custom cutting edge international online ticketing platform with global ticketing. Initial response to this ticketing platform was phenomenal, with fans from North America, Latin America, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia immediately buying tickets. The mission of making Reggae Sumfest a high value International Property providing an authentic Jamaican musical and cultural experience to the world was well on its way around the world.
2018 Reggae Sumfest is exploding on the the global marketplace . The preview events have been expanded and upgraded , making the week long celebration in Montego Bay a prime destination for Caribbean travel and entertainment. Major global sponsors Jet Blue and Mastercard are now also onboard for 2018. The event lineup for 2018 includes The Colorfest Beach Party on July 15 at Tropical Bliss Beach , The Free Street Dance and Party on July 16 on the Hip Strip, The All White Party at Pier One on July 17, The Blitz Party at The Hard Rock Cafe with inclusive food and drinks on July 18, The 20th Anniversary of Irish & Chin’s World Clash on July 19 at the Pier One Event Centre, The Main Festival Nights on July 20 & 21 at Catherine Hall Entertainment Center featuring the greatest stars of Reggae and Dancehall all night long, and the festival week winds up with a 7 AM tailgate party at Dump Up Beach, called Morning Meds. The festival again will be live streamed in high definition video the the world. Reggae Sumfest has become the most watched Reggae & Dancehall festival in the world….Don’t miss it.
Buy tickets and learn more about this year's upcoming SUMFEST 19