The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Reggae Sumfest, dubbed “the greatest reggae show on earth,” was launched in Brooklyn on April 17.
JTB said reggae aficionados, industry icons, tastemakers, the Diaspora community and sponsors converged at the trendy Bogart House in East Williamsburg for the launching ceremony.
“Bronx restaurant, Ultimate Jerk, provided a fine fare of Jamaican food — including jerk chicken, festival, rice and peas — paired with cocktails, courtesy of Appleton,” JTB said.
Among the sponsors speaking at the ceremony were Caribbean Airlines and JTB, represented by Philip Rose, regional director, Northeast USA.
Rose reiterated the board’s commitment to the festival, “which helps to promote the destination and its rich cultural heritage.”
He reminded the large crowd of the importance of events like Reggae Sumfest, “which plays a significant role in attracting visitors to the birthplace of reggae,” according to JTB.
It said Jamaican dancehall veteran, Spragga Benz, who is one of the featured artists on this year’s Sumfest line-up, “gave a taste of what patrons can expect at this year’s festival.”
The 2019 staging of the destination’s iconic music festival takes place from July 14-20 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.
JTB said the festival comes on the heels of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) designation of reggae as “an intangible cultural heritage” and coincides with the world’s largest reggae label, VP Records, celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Last year, on the heels of the successful digital marketing campaign “Join Me in Jamaica,” JTB said it deepened its footprint in the digital space by live streaming the 26th staging of Reggae Sumfest.
The stream presented a curated feed live from Catherine Hall, featuring main stage performances along with features, artiste and media interviews, all hosted live by popular television host Sakina Deer.
The JTB Live Stream was hosted on the Visit Jamaica Facebook page, which had over 940,000 followers around the globe.
Featured on the stream were interviews with artistes like Argentinian reggae sensation Dread Mar I, D Major, Press Kay, Yanique the Curvy Diva, along with chief executive officer of Downsound Entertainment Josef Bogdanovich.
JTB said the successful Facebook Live broadcast also continued for the second night of the show, capturing audiences around the world to witness the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.”
During the broadcast, JTB said Deer welcomed Reggae Sumfest performing artists J Boog, Keznamdi, Naomi Cowan and D’Yani to the JTB booth for exclusive interviews, giving viewers an exciting behind the scenes look at the festival featuring real-time updates from the performers themselves.
Building on its success from the first night, JTB said its booth attracted hundreds of attendees on the closing night of the festival, and captivated audiences across Jamaica and major US markets through its “dynamic, all-encompassing Facebook Live experience.”