Rocking to Junior Gong at Reggae Sumfest

Guest writer Kemar D tells us what he did last summer in Montego Bay!

‘Wanna have a fun filled and exciting summer?’

Look no further because the greatest reggae show on earth is held in one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands. Located in the heart of Montego Bay City, Jamaica, where lots of tourists go for a summer blast, is the greatest annual reggae show on earth! As I packed my luggage and drove out of his home on the 25th of July for the reggae show on the 26th, I was so excited to have a grand time at this great show. Upon going through Kingston, Jamaica and arriving in Montego Bay City, there was no greater and exciting feeling than the one that this show gave me.

I got my pass and went to one of the best hotels in Montego Bay – Sandals Resorts – where I joined my friends while waiting for the show to begin on the 26th of July. We met a lot of Jamaicans in the Sandals hotel and other tourists from all over the world who come to the show annually. It was really an exciting experience to be there and I knew the people I was capable of meeting so it was much more fun for me and my friends. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I truly enjoyed every moment I was that I savoured.

The Reggae Sumfest show, which was first held in 1993, is held in July each year and is still one of the greatest shows on earth. It was founded by Redstripe Beer, a popular beer company that supplies the world with beer. Sumfest is held in Montego Bay, Jamaica and has different sections or performance nights known as Reggae nights where only Jamaican artists perform, whether they are local or international they performed that night.

Then there are the International nights 1 and 2, where foreign artists come to perform, and this is the big night that most people look forward to all the time. International artistes do not come to Jamaica on a normal basis so when I get the chance to see them at a huge show like Sumfest, nothing will ever stop me from going. I must say the international nights are the best because I see and experience artistes that I am not used to and it is truly amazing to hear and watch them perform.

Another great thing I like about this show is the host, a popular Jamaican artist who is the son of Bob Marley and goes by the name Junior Gong Marley. A lot of people know him and the tourists normally go crazy for this artist. If Bob Marley was alive and at this show he would surely be proud of his son as the host. A lot of artists from other countries would definitely come to see him as well.

Sumfest attracts crowds of people of all ages and features a wide variety of quality Jamaican reggae artists such as Junior Gong and Stephen Marley, The Mighty Diamonds, Toots & the Maytals, Beres Hammond, Tony Rebel, Andy Vernon, Frankie Paul, and Freddie McGregor, dancehall stars like Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, Tommy Lee Sparta, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Capleton, and Lady Saw as well as international artists including 50 Cent, Miguel, R. Kelly, Rihanna and Usher.

As is routine, Reggae Sumfest kicks off on a Sunday with the Sumfest Beach Party held at the Aquasol Theme Park located on the Walter Fletcher Beach Complex; there is also an All White Party (dress code) held on Tuesday at Pier 1 On the Waterfront following three nights of electrifying live performances beginning with Dancehall Night on a Thursday (Dancehall), International Night 1 on a Friday, and ending with International Night 2 on a Saturday at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Finally the night of the show was here and this was the real excitement night! How would you react if you were about the see Miguel, who sings Adorn, and popular world star Rihanna? Maybe words would fail you! This is exactly how I felt, trust me. We checked out of the hotel and were on our way to the Sumfest location, around just ten minutes’ drive from Sandals Resorts and I can tell you, my music was punching in my car and I was in the mood to party.

Finally we arrived at the show and I could see a lot of artists driving in the outlet both local and international ones too. I even saw Busta Rhymes driving in his Range Rover but I couldn’t get a good picture of him. After the show we did take a lot of pictures with popular artists though. When the music started about 11 pm I could hardly hear my ears! People were screaming and spraying fire cans in the air and dancing. As soon as their favourite artist came on stage they went crazy!

When the show ended I really had another blast of fun time with my friends. After every show night I was able to take pictures with artists who just walked past me and let me take a picture with them. This was highly exciting especially when it was one of my favourite artiste.

I really enjoyed every moment of the show and could not see myself anywhere else that night but at the greatest reggae show on earth, Reggae Sumfest!

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