Reggae Sumfest Dubbed – "Rip Roaring Dancehall Night” for its 15th staging


By: Kaylia Williams & Olimatta Taal

Mavado_bountykiller_beyoncerihanna.jpgRed Stripe Reggae Sumfest's 15th Anniversary show sell off! "Never before have I seen such a huge crowd, "MC Richie B declared to the capacity crowd at Montego Bay's Catherine Hall on Dancehall Night, July 19. The major curtains have risen, for the weekend commonly known as "The Greatest Reggae Festival In The World."

The excitement began at 10:30 pm and none of those in the line-up, disappointed the large audience. Some notable performances came from artists like: Wayne Marshall who commanded the stage with lots of energy. Little Hero had the audience wanting more as he sang, The Prayer. The night took a turn for the best with Gyptian whose set included hits like Serious Times and Mama Don’t Cry. It was the poor people's defender, Chuck Fender who took things up another notch as he burned out the wickedness with the living fire of his words. Busy Signal was in great form as he commanded the audience with his strong stage presence - there was never a dull moment.

Macka Diamond warmed up the crowd with some heavy theatrics to match her fire engine red, pony-tailed hairstyle and steadily transforming outfit. Inviting Richie B to help "undress her," at one point, Macka removed her pants to reveal dazzling hot pants and then lead a fitness crew in dancing the hoolahoop.

Ninja Man came on, clad in full white and looking like he just stepped out of a major Ninja movie. With two swords at his sides he slew the place with his musical style. The first thing he addressed was the controversy around Bounty Killer and himself – singing, Me Nah War Bounty. He performed Bad Again, claiming his strength in Dancehall Music.

Ninja's main message for the night concerned the elections and he presented his own party PPP or People's Prime Minister for Peace asking people to vote and not participate in any forms of violence.

Elephant Man, the energy God, definitely lived up to his name as he made a grand entrance as the Dancehall Super Hero. Dressed in a grey costume with boots, cape, belt, and computer display to match, he amped the crowd with Higher Level and Bad Man Forward, Badman Pull-up. .

Shaggyninjaman_sumfestgirlnudebeyonce.jpgMunga Hounorable honoured Red Stripe Sumfest for the first time as di real Gangsta Ras. He showed that he was able to make Sumfest "Earth SHAKE," especially during the steamy Hold You In My Arms when he invited the girls dem to "Wine pon it." While Mr. Wow Wow, Baby Cham, wowed the crowd with a thrilling performance. This was his first performance since last year, and he gave it his all.

Anthony B represented Rastafari in full form as he delivered some of his most powerful songs. Undoubtedly one of the night’s best performers, his conscious lyrics were

delivered with the same intensity at the beginning as at the end of his dynamic set. Anthony B gave the highly receptive crowd exactly what they wanted.

, checked in with, "Check Check". The crowd felt a powerful and energetic performance from the DJ. Then the real Muma Saw of the dancehall showed that she still dominates the fraternity. Her performance was dubbed as being Phenomenal. Muma walked out on stage with a vibrant powerful attitude. Lady Saw, exercised her lyrical competence on stage and her performance displayed sides of her that people may not have seen. During Saw's set, there was a climax when she gave a Marion Hall performance, leaving many fans feeling sympathy as she told her story of Infertility. Tears were shed while she sang, then she totally changed moods again asking the men, "Baby are you up for this," while positioned for 'Backshot'.

Sumfest felt the warmth of the sun in the morning when the alliance took to the stage. It was straight fire. Mavado sat on the Gully Side, while he was Dreaming, Einstein joined him onstage to Rise the Machine. Crowd response urged Mavado to step in and ask Whey Dem a Do, while Mavado performed Bawl Dem a Bawl, but by then Serani stepped in with Dying which elevated the performance.

Of course Bounty Killer was indeed a Kaboom. The WarLord walked on stage, after his son, dressed to depict his character as Di Real General of the dancehall. The killer stepped on stage throwing Bullets. He dominated with hits from his repertoire, that chronicled the General's musical experience from his beginning up until now.

It was clear the night belonged to Beenie Man. As he approached the stage dressed in a wonderfully designed suit representing Jamaican colors, the crowd went ballistic. No artist was able to get the type of response that the Dancehall King received from the crowd of about 30,000 people throughout his entire set. It was about 6am and the sun was shining. The crowd had been there from 10:30pm, but the number of flags and rags that were flown high in the air showing the love and support was breathtaking.

Dancehall night 2007 was a historical one with the biggest crowd ever and it was a show that will be remembered for more than 15 years to come.