Less sponsors, higher artiste fees, but Sumfest goes on

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Johnny Gourzong, executive producer of Reggae Sumfest, cites reduced sponsor support and increased production and artiste fees as some of the challenges being faced by the festival be he says the show must go on.

According to the promoters of Reggae Sumfest, Summerfest Promotions, despite the challenges facing the event, the annual festival will take place on July 18-24 at Catherine Hall, St James.

The organizers are also appealing to stakeholders to work with them in finding creative solutions to the challenges to stage the 18th edition of the Greatest Reggae Festival on Earth.

Traditionally Reggae Sumfest has hosted a mixture of local and international acts that has distinguished the event as an eclectic mix of good music and performers.

In light of the fiscal challenges organizers gave great consideration to omitting International acts for this year’s festival.

Stakeholders agreed that International scts should be included on this year’s lineup as the mix of genre and cultures is the essence of the event and such a cut back would adversely affect the marketability of the show.

Reggae Sumfest is the brainchild of several Montego Bay businessmen and was first held in 1993.

The show has traditionally featured top reggae and dancehall performers, but Hip-Hop and Rhythm and Blues acts like Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Boyz II Men and Lionel Richie have also made appearances on the Sumfest stage.