Sponsors reluctant in joining new Sumfest format


July 06, 2016
Joe Bogdanovich

STAR of the Month, Reggae Sumfest 2016, stunned the local entertainment fraternity when it announced drastic changes to the show's format, especially doing away with the much-anticipated International Night.

Though the Reggae Sumfest team sought to reassure the public that the changes will not have any adverse effect on the quality of the show, the adjustments were met with negative remarks.

Some believe the new format will ruin the show's reputation. Others have been begging the organisers to consider hitting the reset button.

Among those who expressed concerns are some of the event's major sponsors, who did not come on board for the event this year.

When THE STAR spoke to Josef Bogdanovich, chairman and CEO of Downsound Entertainment - now producer of Reggae Sumfest - he explained that securing sponsorship for any major entertainment event is an uphill task.

"Sponsorship of entertainment events has decreased, and it has decreased for a lot of reasons," he said.

"What these sponsors need to fully understand is that reggae music is a high-point flag for this country. It is celebrated all over the world, and so the sponsors and various government agencies need to refocus and understand that we need to protect our natural resource of reggae music and the artistes who are the stars of this genre, and that's what this year's Reggae Sumfest is all about."

Bogdanovich told THE STAR that some of the sponsors on board this year were a bit reluctant in hopping on the new Reggae Sumfest train.

"We have so many sponsors on this show. They know that the Reggae Sumfest brand is a reliable brand, we put on quality productions, the show is safe and it attracts an international audience, so I think we've done well with that," he said, explaining that the sponsors who expressed concern at the new format the event is taking, used the changes as an excuse to pledge their support in a smaller way.

"I think they used that (the adjustments to the show) as an excuse to give less, and I think they're going to find out that there are a lot of good things that will happen this year."

A confident Bogdanovich told THE STAR that when Reggae Sumfest 2016 comes to a close, sponsors will be lining up to pledge their support for Sumfest 2017, based on the quality of the event.

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