Sumfest acts expected to raise the bar
Days ahead of the 'The Greatest Reggae Show on Earth', fans eagerly await the unveiling of a transformed festival.
The 24th staging is offering a jam-packed all-star local line-up under the 2016 theme, 'Our Music, Our Festival', over two performance days - Dancehall Night on Friday, July 22, and Reggae Night on Saturday, July 23.
According to the new festival organisers, DownSound Entertainment (DSE), the acts hitting the Sumfest stage this year are expected to bring spectacular sets.
Joe Bogdanovich, chairman and CEO of DSE, said, "Patrons should leave Dancehall and Reggae Nights satisfied that they have seen their favourite acts perform out-of-this-world sets with novel aspects to them. We have left this element of creativity to the artistes. Whatever support they [the artistes] need from us, the producers will be provided - within reason."
Patrons have witnessed some of the most amazing costumes, stage presence, props, back-up dancers, surprise collaborations and gimmickry on the Reggae Sumfest stage. Dancehall acts Spice and Lady Saw have etched great memories in the minds of their fans with their imaginative ensembles year after year. Spice's most memorable moment was in 2013 when she walked on stage in a bubble; while Lady Saw's white, angelic-like dress in 2015 may very well have been a preamble to her recent transition to gospel music as Marion Hall.
Many remember Elephant Man climbing the stage trusses in recent years and, in 2014, when Mr Vegas wore a purple suit with white platform shoes and took the thousands in attendance at Dancehall Night through a musical timeline.
The infamous Kartel took the Sumfest audience by surprise when he was escorted on stage by police officers, wearing handcuffs and orange overalls, after being released from prison in 2010. It is these great Reggae Sumfest moments that cause thousands to turn out year after year. Who knows what will take place this year.