Downsound Records chief, Bogdanovich buys Reggae Sumfest

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Joe BogdanovichSummerfest Productions, the official promoters of Reggae Sumfest has announced Downsound Records CEO, Josef Bogdanovich as their new chairman, taking over from Robert Russell. 

The American businessman, who previously worked with another major stage show, Sting in 2014 – his label sponsored the event and he partnered with Sting organizers to stream the event live – was confirmed on Tuesday as Sumfest chairman after days of speculation surrounding his possible involvement with the show.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Bogdanovich insisted that with his acquisition of Summerfest Productions, he intended to totally transform the brand.

In order to make this industry thrive, it’s critical that the home of reggae music gets its house in order, “ he said. “The theme of unity through music is a key factor for success in the festival business. Artists must understand and work together as well as the sponsors and government agencies and accept the fact that Reggae/Dancehall is a natural resource of the country and that it’s the responsibility of the country for it to be developed and protected as other forward thinking countries have done.”

Bogdanovich refused to disclose how much he spent to acquire the production company.

Russell, who remains with the Summerfest Promotions team told media outlets that the move was agreed to three weeks ago, with Bogdanovich already outlining his ideas for Sumfest, including streaming the week-long festival in 3D and possibly doing a North American tour. 

He joins a team which includes Russell, executive producer Johnny Gourzong and festival manager, Tina Davis

Bogdanovich adds these duties to his long list of businesses, that includes Downsound, which primarily pushes artists such as dancehall star, Ishawna and reggae singer, Nature. Additionally, he owns Kingston Live Entertainment Group, which owns Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records restaurant in Kingston, as well as Famous Nightclub in Portmore. 

This year’s edition of Reggae sumfest is schedule to take place from July 17-23 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay and is partly sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board. Reggae Sumfest 2016 will mark the 2th installment of the show, which features the best acts in reggae and dancehall, as well as guest international artistes.

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