Joe Bogdanovich buys Reggae Sumfest brand


April 20, 2016
Joe Bogdanovich
File Johnny Gourzong

Joe Bogdanovich, CEO of DownSound Records (DSR), completed his latest acquisition of a major Jamaican brand, Reggae Sumfest, three weeks ago in Kingston.

When asked why Summerfest Productions decided to sell the brand rights to Bogdanovich, Johnny Gourzong, the CEO, said both he and Robert Russell, chairman, liked the fact that Bogdanovich showed new and fresh ideas to revitalise Reggae Sumfest. The also cited that Bogdanovich has invested heavily Jamaica's music industry.

With the show scheduled to be held in July, Bogdanovich said 2016 will be the transitional year where DSR will be working closely with Johnny Gourzong, Robert Russell and Tina Davis, who have developed this brand for 25 years. But in the next two years, he said there will be major changes.

"In order to make this industry thrive, it's critical that the home of reggae music gets its house in order," he said. "The theme of unity through music is a key factor for success in the festival business. Artistes must understand and work together, as well as the sponsors and government agencies, to accept the fact that reggae/dancehall is a natural resource of the country and that it's the responsibility of the country for it to be developed and protected."

Reggae Sumfest 2016 is also looking to launch a ground-breaking first by streaming in interactive 360 Virtual Reality (VR), a game changer according to Bogdanovich. There will also be a restructuring of show nights to possibly change it from three nights to two.0

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