No Sumfest Worries - Joe says state of emergency won't affect festival
Despite the extension of the state of emergency in St. James until the end of July, Joe Bogdanovich, principal of Reggae Sumfest and CEO of Downsound Entertainment, is unconcerned about its likely impact on the showpiece event.
Bogdanovich told THE STAR yesterday that he expects the festival nights to extend into the following mornings, as is customary at Sumfest.
"I think we're OK we have no restrictions on Friday and Saturday night," he said.
Clubs and fast-food restaurants under the State of Emergency in St James are required to close their doors by 2 a.m. Bogdanovich said that the pre-events for Reggae Sumfest will close by that time.
Parliament this week voted to extend the State of Emergency by 90 days, which means that it will not be business as usual in St James this summer.
The 26th anniversary of Reggae Sumfest is scheduled to take place in Montego Bay, St James on July 15-22. The State of Emergency is scheduled to end on July 31.
Citing strong relationships with the municipal authorities and the Jamaica Tourist Board, Bogdanovich does not believe that the extension will impede the festival's execution.
"I think that people are proud of their city and country, and want to support the country and support reggae music through Reggae Sumfest, and other festivals that have the same message of 'unity through music'," he continued.
The entrepreneur expressed faith in the extended operations and opined that sensibilities of 'Montegonians' are returning to normal.
"I think that there's no question that there is more safety in the country now. People are really welcoming this extension the people that live and work there everybody is feeling a sense of normalcy in terms of feeling more comfortable and safe."
"We've never had a problem with safety in the Sumfest area and I think that won't change. We have a lot of support from the Mayor and from the Jamaica Tourist Board. Everybody in the heat of the summer understands that Montego Bay is important as the second city, it's the biggest tourist destination in Jamaica," Bogdanovich told THE STAR.
TOP ACTS BOOKED FOR SUMFEST:
Sizzla, Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killa, Harry Toddla, Agent Sasco, Shane O, Tosh Alexander, Tommy Lee, Dance Xpressionz, Rygin King, Govana and Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Beres Hammond, Damian Marley, Capleton, Cham, Fantan Mojah, J Boog, Jah Dore, Jesse Royal, Raging Fyah, Naomi Cowan, Empress Ayeola