Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Summerfest maintains commitment to music industry

Published:Sunday | May 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Johnny Gourzong

It is the famed 19th-century American author Woodrow T. Wilson who penned the phrase, "We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end", an idiom that aptly describes Summerfest Productions' commitment to Jamaican music ever since the inception of Reggae Sumfest, the world's greatest reggae show, in 1993.

Over the years, the event has contributed significantly to the economy, but more important, has given many artistes a platform to showcase their talents. This has been true from the biggest of stars to dozens of upcoming young acts.

"Reggae Sumfest has, since its inception, showcased emerging talent to an international audience. Acts such as Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, and Chronixx got early starts on the Sumfest stage. Through an initiative spearheaded by Diamond Sponsor Digicel, we maintain the small stage at the event that also gives young acts exposure," explained Johnny Gourzong, executive director of Summerfest Productions.


growth of J'can music


An event of this magnitude has aided in the growth of Jamaican music and created a demand for local artistes on overseas stages. Many artistes have admitted that it was the Sumfest stage that allowed them their "first buss!"

"We're constantly exploring new ideas that we believe will enliven the entertainment landscape for our patrons and also demonstrate our continued commitment to the entertainment industry," Gourzong affirms.

"This year, we will begin with the Beach Party at Aquasol on Sunday, July 12; the all-white event at Pier One on Tuesday, July 14; and the three main concert nights from Thursday, July 16, to Saturday, July 18. There are many upcoming acts set to perform each night, and through a partnership with beverage sponsor Pepsi, we will have an hour of young talent on the final night of this year's event," he added.

"We are working on revamping production and creating a grand experience for our patrons that will be unlike anything they have experienced before," Gourzong ended.

The event is being presented in association with Digicel, Iberostar, Secrets, Pepsi, Jamaica Tourist Board, Red Stripe, Red Bull, and The Gleaner.