JOSEF Bogdanovich, Downsounds Records CEO, is the new chairman of Summerfest Promotions, promoters of Reggae Sumfest.
According to former Chairman Robert Russell, the decision for the American businessman to assume the post was made three weeks ago.
“We needed some new pairs of eyes with new energy. He has a wealth of experience and lots of contacts, both here and overseas… as well as some visionary ideas, including streaming the festival in 3D. This will be the first time it’ll be done. It’s going to be amazing. Also, we’re looking at doing a North American tour,” Russell told us.
In addition to Bogdanovich and Russell, the Sumfest executive comprises Johnny Gourzong, executive producer; and Tina Davis, festival manager.
Reggae Sumfest — part sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board — is scheduled for Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, from July 17-23.
Bogdanovich is no stranger to major live shows. In 2014, he partnered with Isaiah Laing, principal of Sting, to stream that one-night event to nearly 200 countries. He is also majority shareholder in the Kingston Live Entertainment Group, which owns Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records in Kingston and Famous Nightclub in Portmore.
He is the principal of Downsound Records which produces acts including Ishawna and Nature.
Russell said despite Bogdanovich’s appointment as Sumfest chairman, it will not become a dancehall show.
“The show will basically remain the same,” he said. “We may have sound system play-off on the Thursday night at Pier One, but we’re still in the planning stages,” he said.
First held in 1993, Reggae Sumfest has featured dancehall’s elite such as Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Lady Saw and Capleton.
An array of international acts, including TI, Common, Usher, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, Ne-Yo, Mary J Blige, and Alicia Keys have also performed on it.