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Letter of the Day | Good move to bring back reggae into Sumfest

Published:Monday | May 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Josef Bogdanovich, the new owner of the Reggae Sumfest Festival that is held in Montego Bay in July annually, recently announced that there would be changes to the annual festival.

One such change is that there will be no international night and acts for this year's staging, with the festival being scaled down to two nights, being Reggae Night and Dancehall Night.

As reported, Bogdanovich indicated the overhead costs for securing international acts for the festival had become too expensive, cutting into the profitability of the festival. Additionally, he believes such money would be better spent supporting our own.

Although I have never been a patron of such events, I welcome the good news to really bring back reggae into Reggae Sumfest.

For a show dubbed the 'Greatest Reggae Show on Earth', it was most unfortunate that more reggae acts were not being featured, with the show in recent years even having up to two international nights, where foreign non-reggae acts were headliners.

Jamaica deserves a decent music festival, highlighting the various genres of our music that we oftentimes collectively refer to as reggae. Several other countries, such as the United States, France, Germany and Japan have major reggae festivals that attract huge crowds.

Perhaps starting next year, as it is now late in the game, Reggae Sumfest could revert to a three-night festival, with the addition of a Foundation Night that highlights earlier genres such as ska and rock steady. This would complement the Reggae and Dancehall nights, making it a true Jamaican music festival to attract both local and foreign reggae lovers.