MONTEGO Bay Chamber of Commerce is welcoming news that annual summer festival Reggae Sumfest will be returning to the “Second City” after a two-year absence.

Oral Heaven, first-vice president of the MoBay Chamber of Commerce, said he welcomes the festival’s return, albeit, under the right protocols.

“Providing the authorities, meaning the Ministry of Health, think that we can accommodate an event like Reggae Sumfest and the other authorities, the Ministry of National Security, think they can manage the showcasing of such an event, we welcome it,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

On Monday, Reggae Sumfest’s principal Josef Bogdanovich shared with the Observer in an exclusive interview that the celebrated event would be returning to the local entertainment calendar on July 20 to 23.

Last year’s staging of the festival was cancelled due to the onslaught of the novel coronavirus, while the year before saw a virtual presentation. Bogdanovich also disclosed that he has already secured this year’s artiste line-up, but was unwilling to disclose at this time.

“It means business for Montego Bay and for St James and it further stimulates the economy. So, it means that once we can control how the structure of it is, then I know it’s something that, of course, we welcome,” he said.

“There are a number of people who year-to-year depend on Sumfest for their living and not having the show, it has impacted them. The great thing is that a number of these people are resilient so they have had to resort to different activities that they benefit from. But with Sumfest coming back, they’ll welcome that because they’re going back to their, I wouldn’t say their bread and butter, but to a means to provide for their living,” he continued.

Heaven also used the opportunity to call on persons to get vaccinated so that there be a further reopening of, not only the entertainment sector, but other aspects of the economy.

“People need to get the vaccine so that the opening up of not just entertainment but other activities. But we know that a lot of people depend on entertainment for their livelihood; so do what is necessary so that we can open up the economy, open up the activities, including entertainment so that people can continue living and benefit,” he remarked.

Recently, Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness, said the Government was considering the possibility of an upcoming calendar of events for vaccinated Jamaicans.

Jamaica’s entertainment sector has been shuttered since March 2020 due to COVID-19, with Government estimates indicating it has lost more than $26 billion.


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