Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sumfest, The Real Review

I’m sure you’ve seen other articles in the media that have focused primarily on the performances at this year’s Reggae Sumfest. This review comes to you from the other side of the VIP/Press barrier. I attended International Night 1 on Friday night and needless to say the festival was well supported but one couldn’t help but feel that the organizers didn’t care for us, the patrons. We anticipated the inflated prices but were appalled by the full scale ban on the premium beers and stouts in Jamaica. Rumor has it that the organizers were still upset about Red Stripe’s withdrawal as title sponsor and they decided to punish them/us by banning their products from the venue. Notably absent from the bars and stalls at the venue were Red Stripe, Heineken and Guinness (all bottled and distributed in Jamaica by Red Stripe). They were replaced with Trinidadian import Carib Beer, Mackesons Stout and Jagra “with horny goat weed”. Just try ordering a Redbull and Guinness and you surely be served a Mackesons and Monster Energy drink. For some of us, having a few bottles of our favourite beer is an important part of the whole experience. Imagine a Jamaican reggae festival without the great Jamaican Beer, Tomfoolery! Thank god for a few brave vendors, members of "the resistance” who walked through the crowd and sold the contraband from crates and buckets. The show was also plagued by shoddy production. We were subjected to lengthy band changes that were at times longer than many of the performances. In previous years it was usual and customary for sound systems to entertain us during the band changes and keep our energy levels up between performances. This year we were treated to dead air, corny MCs and advertisements as if it were at intermission during the movies. The organizers undoubtedly still have a great product but they need to settle their beef and ensure that the patrons don’t get caught in the crossfire.

34 comments:

Stunner said...

Wow, a review of the dark side of Sumfest! But none of our favorite beer, damn that's harsh!

owen said...

hahaha "la resistance". The patrons are at the mercy of the promoters. bun a import goods!

Emanicipated? said...

No real, real beer for Sumfest???...if I wern't on a righteous path (a nd provided I actually went to the show:) I would have a few choice cuts of fabric for the organizers...how dare they. What a slap in the face...good thing you can't keep down the entrepreneural spirit of the J'can oppressed

Gussie said...

Viva la resistance!

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