Reggae Sumfest brawta ... Tourists in Jamaica for sun, sea and sand welcome festival
Reggae Sumfest is usually a huge tourist pull factor for the country. Each year, visitors flood the island to soak up the best of dancehall and reggae music, booking their vacations with the annual festival in mind.
This year, however, many of the tourists who we got a chance to speak with at the festival's nightly shows said they did not fly down specifically for the festival.
The visitors said that while they enjoy reggae music, they made the trip for the sun, sea and sand and were fortunate enough to have stumbled upon the annual festival and decided to spend the extra dollars on tickets for the events of their choice.
Aavwyn Heard from Los Angeles (spotted at the Sound Clash on Thursday night) said, "I am actually here with my family celebrating my birthday. I didn't know about Sumfest until I got here, but I'm glad it's happening. I love Jamaican music so any event where I get to experience some of it is one I always enjoy going to."
Jasmine and Bianca from Switzerland (spotted on Night One of the festival (Friday) said, "We were on vacation and we saw the Sumfest ads and so we thought it's gonna be great and so we're here. We don't know what to expect, so we're just here for the surprise. We're not familiar with the names, but we looked on YouTube and we think all the performers are great."
Norbit and Anchie, a couple from Germany, confessed that "Sumfest isn't the real reason we're in Jamaica, but we're happy it's going on. We like Jamaican music - dancehall and reggae - so we're happy to spend both nights at Sumfest." They were looking forward to seeing Alkaline perform. "We don't know the lyrics of his songs but we hear a lot on the radio here in Jamaica and we think he's really cool."
However, there were some who actually came to the island with the festival in mind.
Tia Bromwell from Florida said, "I came specifically for Sumfest. I love Jamaica and I love Jahmiel and Tory Lanez, so I came for them."
Brianne from London said, "I'm here to see everyone. Jamaica is like my second home, so I'm familiar with the artistes. This is my first time at Sumfest though, and I'm really enjoying the vibe. I love every dancehall artiste and I respect what the organisers of the show are doing for the music. I'm usually a Dream Weekend type person, but Sumfest drew me this year because of Tommy Lee. He hasn't performed at Sumfest in ages and I had to be here in person for that."
Night Two of Reggae Sumfest 2017 concluded in the early hours of this morning, bringing the exciting week-long festival to a close.