The greatest Reggae show on earth – Reggae Sumfest
90’s Dancehall has a special place in the hearts of Jamaicans. It was the highlight of this year’s staging of the greatest Reggae show on earth- Reggae Sumfest which was held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. The tribute to one of the most prolific producers of that era- Dave Kelly- brought out some of the biggest names in Dancehall. Top artistes such as; Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Baby Cham, Spragga Benz, Frisco Kid, Wayne Wonder and Mr. Easy all took to the stage to deliver stirring performances that paid homage to the living legend, who stayed true to his nature and remained backstage, taking in the show, and refused any attempt at coming on stage to receive any praise. He however, had a hand in the tribute as he did the choreography for the set. It was a night of reggae, dancehall and pure Jamaican culture that left the crowd wanting more.
The collaborations between the various artistes was something to behold as they bounced off each other’s energy and delivered hit after hit. Among the iconic and nostalgic rhythms that were loud in the venue were Medicine, Showtime, Bruk Out, Fiesta, Haunted, Stink and Murderation.
The King of Dancehall Beenie Man who had three outfit changes for the set ignited the crowd with fan favorites like “Ole Dog” and “Wickedest Slam.” Bounty Killa had the crowd roaring to hits like “Can’t Believe Mi Eyes,” “Poor People Fed Up,” and “Look Into My Eyes.” Cham, who was performing in Jamaica for the first time in a while, came good on his set, which also had the crowd jumping in a frenzy. He covered some of his classics, including tracks like “Vitamin S,” “Ghetto Story,” and “Joyride.” The other performers, including Frisco Kid, Spragga Benz, Wayne Wonder and Mr. Easy, all delivered rousing performances.
The show ended with a massive sing-along of some of Kelly’s most iconic songs like ‘Nah Goa So’ and ‘ Madness’, which had the entire audience on their feet, dancing and singing along. It was truly a magical moment and a fitting tribute to one of reggae’s unsung heroes. For many, the solidarity of all the artistes on stage was also a remarkable achievement considering many of them rose to fame through clash culture, but it was clear that each artiste had a great deal of respect for Kelly and his contribution to their careers. The unity on stage was a testament to the power of dancehall music and its ability to bring people together. It was a night to remember for all who were in attendance.