Recapping Night One of the 2023 edition of Reggae Sumfest, our team at Prism Marketing Consultants witnessed both triumphs and challenges at one of the world’s greatest reggae festivals.
As the event celebrates its 30th anniversary at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, things got off to a decent start with reasonably managed traffic and parking arrangements. The ticketing system and patrons finding their designated areas also flowed smoothly, albeit with the occasional hiccups. The media spaces were well-organised, attracting representation from across the globe and numerous local outlets, all kept busy by the night’s biggest stars and influencers.
However, while changes are inevitable for growth, some patrons were disappointed with the exclusion of seasoned campaigners, among the mentionable were Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Bugle, Sizzla Kalonji, Capleton, I-Wayne, Agent Sasco, Popcaan, Dexta Daps, Demarco and Aidonia among others from this year’s lineup, resulting in the absence of significant star power.
Overall, the production received a passing grade with quick band changes, large television screens, fireworks, good sound quality, and robust security amidst entertaining sets from Di Unit and Mighty Crown sound systems. Among the night’s challenges was the running order at times appeared out of sync, as some younger talents were given inflated times, shortening anticipated sets from their more prominent peers.
Among the standout performances were Masicka, Valiant, Teejay, Tommy Lee Sparta, and Jah Vinci. Honourable mention also to Roze Don, who showed vast improvement. On the female side, Vanessa Bling gave a satisfactory account of herself. Meanwhile, Pretty Boy Floyd exhibited his class as a veteran emcee piloting the night’s proceedings. Emerging talent Bayka faced trouble for repeated use of profanity during his set and was subsequently detained and released after warnings from the police.
Despite the challenges, the organisers did well on Night One, and we look forward to an elevated and enjoyable experience on Saturday’s Night Two.