Sumfest boosts MoBay

Observer senior reporter

Monday, July 17, 2017

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A whopping US$5 million is estimated to be in circulation in Montego Bay by the time Reggae Sumfest, the week-long music festival, climaxes this weekend.

That's the view of head of the event, Josef Bogdanovich.

“The event will be better than ever,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday ahead of the opening event, a beach party at Tropical Beach, just outside Montego Bay.

“There are no rooms available in any of the major hotels in the city; most of the Airbnb are full. Perhaps the closest you can possibly get a hotel room is Ocho Rios or Negril. The promotion done by the Jamaica Tourist Board in America is really paying off as we are seeing an an increase in patrons from overseas. We are just getting more people coming in. There is so much goodwill in the place right now from artistes, hoteliers and the public, it feels like a family and we are happy to be experiencing this vibe, especially this year,” he further noted.

Bogdanovich advised that all is in place for the rest of the week's events including today's boat ride, which he said is already sold out. The all-white party at Pier One is also nearing sold-out status, he informed. Plans for the live shows at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre are ahead of schedule.

“The latest update I got showed that we are three days ahead of schedule in preparing Catherine Hall for the two nights of performances. The stage is already in place and final touches are now being put to the fantastic food court we are creating inside the venue. A major feature is the Sumfest Acoustic Café with its Sumfest-inspired décor and running footage of Sumfest performances over the years. Major sponsors such as Red Stripe and Pepsi are also on site preparing their sky boxes. It is a very grandiose look that we are going for this year to celebrate the 25 years of the festival.”

Just last week, the Reggae Sumfest team announced that Stephen Marley and his son Joe Mersa are joining the festival line-up and will appear on the final night.

“We are naturally pleased to have Stephen and Joe Mersa on the festival. Stephen contacted us and said he was available and wanted to support the festival, so we saw this as a huge endorsement and just went for it and we are sure they will bring something great to the table. We have also just signed the deal to stream the festival live to China. This is a huge market for reggae and Jamaican culture, and with a lot more reggae acts going on tour to China, we are sure this will do a lot to improve the value of their work,” said Bogdanovich.




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