Montego Bay, Jamaica: The 20th staging of Reggae Sumfest registered great moments on and off the stage synonymous with the significant milestone.
Jamaica celebrates as a nation. Organisers recognised several of Jamaica’s musical stalwarts, crowned a queen and brought home one of Jamaica’s prolific sons of Dancehall to an amazing welcome.
Jamaican and international audiences merged to witness the Festival’s 20th staging which took place from July 15 to 21 with a hard hitting Beach Party at Aquasol Theme Park that paved the way for Dancehall Night on the 19 and International Nights 1 & 2 on the 20 and 21 which filled the park each performance night.
A phenomenal line up of over 20 acts on Dancehall Night featuring the likes of Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, I-Octane, Pop Caan, Tommy Lee, Aidonia and Konshens among others satisfied the cravings of a discerning crowd.
The ladies of dancehall Tifa, Spice, Stacious and Lady Saw represented with exuberance and style. The night proved to be the perfect segue for the remainder of the Festival.
International Night 1 provided an overwhelming experience for an eager and excited audience by way of a legendary Jamaica 50 tribute which saw acts like Pinchers, Derrick Harriot, Leroy Smart, Leroy Sibbles, Mighty Diamonds, U-Roy, John Holt and Yellow Man.
International sensation Trey Songz took the stage and thrilled the audience with an electrifying performance while reggae Prince Tarrus Riley captivated the Sumfest massive with his own special magic.
A long anticipated performance from Shabba Ranks was the highlight of the night as patrons followed the agile movements of Jamaica’s “Grammy Kid” across the 60ft wide stage. Summerfest Productions, organisers of the Festival honoured the artiste whose last performance on the Festival was in 1994 by way of a special presentation and a fantastic fireworks show at the end of his performance.
Audiences continued to be wowed on International Night 2 when R&B icon R. Kelly pulled out all the stops with his immense catalogue of hits. Multi grammy award winning Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley came and conquered all before him. Damian celebrated his birthday on stage and the audience celebrated his truly remarkable performance. Reggae extraordinaire Bunny Wailer, the longest living Wailer, brought the curtain down on yet another staging. He paused to express the significance of Sumfest to Jamaica. “Sumfest is the machinery that launches young acts and sustains reggae music.”
Reggae Sumfest, an official Jamaica 50 event was graced by the presence of the Minister of Youth, Culture and Entertainment, Lisa Hanna, on International Night 1 where the minister presented ‘The Pin of Pride’ to acts among the Jamaica 50 tribute for their tremendous contribution to reggae music. Also a recipient, Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director, Summerfest Productions was pleased to note “This year has been a special year seeing us celebrate two milestones, Jamaica 50 and our 20th staging. We are proud of our achievement and would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts all our sponsors, participating hotels, the media, patrons and our very dear Sumfest family for their continuing support of Reggae Sumfest.”
Reggae Sumfest 2012 was sponsored by Digicel, Red Stripe, Iberostar, Jamaica Tourist Board and Pepsi.
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