Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records in St Andrew was the venue for last Wednesday's launch of Reggae Sumfest, scheduled for July 17-23
Now headed by Downsound Records' Josef Bogdanovich who recently assumed chairmanship of the 24-year festival, Reggae Sumfest has changed from three nights of live concerts to two, without any international acts gracing the stage.
Bogdanovich has included an 'all-Jamaican' roster of acts and also a Reggae night which replaces International Nights I and II.
A number of artistes booked for the show were present and among those who were called upon to share their views were deejays Rodney Price, better known as Bounty Killer and Dancehall Doctor, Beenie Man. They both urged full support for the festival, which Beenie Man says he has missed only once in its 24-year history.
"Sumfest is our show. After Reggae Sunsplash Sumfest pick up the slot that we can have an international stage so that people from all over the world can see what's going on in dancehall. I only miss one Sumfest because I was on a world tour . Just want everyone to come out to see a great show... its gonna be a greater show this year," said Beenie Man.
However, it was Bounty who made the bold call for Reggae Sumfest to deliver an International Night this year.
"We have some great international artistes from Jamaica who can make International Night more international. So, I suggest that you get a group of international reggae and dancehall artistes. So me seh get the international artistes who make it from Jamaica to the international shores. We have OMI, who a go on great; we have Sean Paul; we have Steel Pulse; we have Shaggy; we Have Jimmy Cliff ... we have all these great international, Jamaican reggae and dancehall artistes, so we need an International Reggae Dancehall Night as well. But Reggae Sumfest is the significant festival and me, as a dancehall artiste don't want to be on International Night cause me still live a Jamaica. My work is international, but I'm still local.
Bounty Killer's sentiments were echoed by Beenie Man, who stated: "Everything that Bounty Killer said, I was going to say it."