Grange sees better festival
Culture and Entertainment Minister, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has endorsed the new focus taken by organisers of Reggae Sumfest to put on show the best of Jamaica's roots, rock and reggae artistes under the theme, Our Music, Our Festival.
In a statement delivered at the recent 2016 Reggae Sumfest Sponsors' Forum, Grange said, "I am elated at the new direction that Sumfest 2016 has taken. It is a welcome change. This new direction of Sumfest promoting new, emerging and established Jamaican artistes on a state-of-the-art, culturally diverse platform may make us upsetters, especially in a fiercely competitive market in which reggae festivals abound."
She added, "I strongly believe that the market can sustain several festivals, produced using international benchmarks and which feature local Jamaican talent. The world will be able to view unparalleled entertainment starring Jamaicans, by Jamaicans, in the place that created the music Jamaica."
The minister also expressed that this year's staging of Reggae Sumfest provides yet another opportunity to put authentic Jamaican talent on full display in the tourist capital of Montego Bay, highlighting that this approach is simply building on what existed before through events such as Rebel Salute, Sting and Reggae Sunsplash. She added that although many others would have considered it a challenge, new investor Josef Bogdanovich instead saw an opportunity in developing Jamaica's musical culture.
Grange said, "With further coordination and execution and the combination of technological innovation, this entertainment model can begin to reap success, especially in light of the Ministry of Culture's programme to create franchise models for mature entertainment products like Sumfest and Rebel Salute."
She noted that this concept is being developed through the Entertainment Division of the Ministry and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office.