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Coverage and free copies - Reggae Sumfest grows with The Gleaner

Published:Saturday | August 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The Gleaner's Spelling Bee Spell mistress Marlene Stephenson-Dalley (right) and her friend, Margaret Hall, who is visiting from New York, also joined the activities in The Gleaner's booth at Reggae Sumfest 2014.-File

Curtis Campbell

Reggae Sumfest was first held in 1993 and The Gleaner has been with what is dubbed the Greatest Reggae Festival on Earth every step of the journey since then. Robert Russell, deputy chairman of Summerfest Productions, which stages the annual festival, remembers the initial Gleaner coverage.

"It gave me a great feeling of satisfaction in 1993 because The Gleaner is always looked upon as a beacon of information, and its coverage is in the best interest of the event," he said.

Sumfest has brought many lasting memories to the island as high-calibre performers have shared their work with the Jamaican people on the platform provided by the festival. Artistes such as Nicki Minaj, Lionel Ritchie, and Shabba Ranks, among many others, have performed at Sumfest. According to Russell, The Gleaner's documentation of the proceedings always hits home with Sumfest's supporters in a unique way.

"The Gleaner has been a great source of information and people look forward to the stories coming out each year. The print is more durable and is able to withstand time. You also have it at your own disposal and can revert to it every time you want information. You can pick up your paper and look up the 1993 line-up, or whichever, anytime you want," he said.

Russell also praised the company for its coverage of the festival each year. He said Reggae Sumfest has had a relatively clean slate, without much controversy, and The Gleaner has always provided positive - yet objective - reviews of the event.

sumfest culture

The deputy chairman also highlighted The Gleaner's involvement in Reggae Sumfest as a sponsor, stating that the patrons look forward to getting complimentary newspapers at the venue each morning, making The Gleaner a part of Sumfest's culture. "They also get a chance to see the highlights from the previews nights in The Gleaner while heading home," he said.

The Gleaner also shared in the recent 2014 staging of Reggae Sumfest and carried articles on several of the featured acts leading up to the event. Reggae Sumfest 2014 saw performances from Tessanne Chin, Sean Paul, Future, Wiz Khalifa, and Freddie McGregor, among others.