Speaking with THE STAR recently, Johnny Gourzong, Summerfest Productions' executive director, said he was unable to disclose the names of the international acts who would be on the festival that is set to take place at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, from July 19 to 21. However, he promised that an announcement would be made within a week. "I am sure we always make sure that we go out and get the top acts. Acts who are popular, acts who can perform. Just listen out for it, and I am sure you will be pleased," he said.
Adding, "We deliver a good product and people have responded to it. We present the who's who in reggae and dancehall music. There are not many artistes who have not graced the Sumfest stage over the years."
So far, he says preparation for the event has been challenging but Summerfest Productions has been trying to put everything in place for the event that is slated for a June launch. Gourzong added that Reggae Sumfest is also an official Jamaica 50 event. He said the organisers have been in talks with the Jamaica 50 Secretariat and plans are already in place to transform Montego Bay during the week of the event. During that same week, he says Summerfest Productions will be hosting daytime concerts in Sam Sharpe Square, highlighting young and upcoming reggae acts from western Jamaica. This year's show will also mark the reintroduction of the Sound System Night where tributes will be paid to sound system and selectors who have made a mark in Jamaica's music industry. The show will also be special as the event will be celebrating 20 years. As part of celebrating the 20 years, Gourzong says a decision has been made to pay respect to reggae and dancehall acts who have made an impact in music.
"We have a great show planned, that is what we have special," he said. As it relates to their 20 years of doing the event, Gourzong says this year will have special significance. "It will be very special for a number of reasons. It has been a long haul and very challenging, lots of blood, sweat and tears over the 20 years. Having said that, we still plan to be around for some more years," he told THE STAR, noting that this year's theme is 'Looking Back, Striving Forward'. "We always have to try and freshen up the event. It's a new audience and we have seen the audience change in front of our very eyes." Nonetheless, he said patrons can expect more of what they have always got, which is a great show, ample parking, security and food.
"We continue to deliver and tweak it every year to make it a little bit better," Gourzong told THE STAR. to edit.