The celebration of Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee will be a central theme in this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest which is scheduled to return from July 18-23 following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
This year’s staging of ‘the greatest reggae show on earth’ already has music fans buzzing. The festival which will be headlined by rising international star Shenseea will also feature reggae chanter Sizzla Kolonje, Jada Kingdon, Dexta Daps, and Intence, among others.
“The 60th independence celebration marks a significant milestone in Jamaica’s journey and music has been at the heart of that journey since the very beginning. Reggae Sumfest has also played an important part in Jamaica’s cultural story for almost 30 years and so it is only fitting for Reggae Sumfest 2022 to be a celebration of all things Jamaican and what has made this country so special for 60 years,” said Joe Bogdanovich, chief executive officer of Downsound Entertainment (DSE), promoters of Sumfest.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and Tourism Minister welcomed the return of Reggae Sumfest, highlighting the essential role the festival has played in the development of musical talent in Jamaica over the decades.
“Since 1993, Reggae Sumfest has provided an invaluable platform to showcase Jamaica’s rich musical heritage and given people from all around the world an opportunity to come and enjoy and learn about our music and culture. Reggae Sumfest is deeply intertwined in the history of Jamaican music and therefore, the celebration of Jamaica 60 would not have been complete without the return of the festival. I am happy and proud to see the continued growth and development of the festival each year and I am excited to see what the team has in store as we celebrate this very important time in our national history,” Minister Grange noted.
For his part, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett also expressed delight at the return of the festival, which in previous years has generated significant revenue for various players in Jamaica’s tourism industry.
“There is no denying the essential role Reggae Sumfest plays in Jamaica’s tourism industry each year. The show has generated billions for Jamaica’s economy over the years, and that is not limited to large hotels, but also smaller establishments, restaurants, attractions, vendors, taxi and other ground transportation providers, bands, production staff and so much more.
The festival is always a special calendar event, but anticipation is even higher this year due to the two-year break, as well as, the role it will play in the wider celebration of Jamaica 60. I commend Joe and his Downsound team for their continued commitment to preserving and highlighting Jamaican music. I look forward to what will no doubt be a stellar event,” Bartlett commented.
Jamaica’s 60th Independence anniversary year-long celebrations are being observed under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who officially launched the Jamaica 60 celebrations, said the theme of the Diamond Jubilee calls on all Jamaicans to take inspiration from the extraordinary achievements over the past 60 years and chart the course for the next 60 years and beyond.