Jamaica Observer: KINGSTON, JA – The global response to DownSound Entertainment’s (DSE) streaming of Reggae Sumfest 2020 has exceeded all expectations, organisers said in a statement.
DownSound Entertainment streamed the virtual version of Reggae Sumfest 2020 simultaneously on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube with all new live performances and content on Friday and Saturday nights of July 24 and 25, respectively, at 8:00 pm Jamaica time.
The original ticketed version, in its 27th year as the premier reggae festival in the world, had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the virtual online edition was produced in its place to keep the fire burning for the Jamaican music community and the festival.
Social media assets of DownSound Entertainment and Reggae Sumfest, and global reggae websites worldwide were engaged round the clock.
Executive producer Joe Bogdanovich, chairman and CEO of Downsound Entertainment, noted that the project was completed in a record time of three weeks by an all-Jamaican team and in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols. “The partnership with Facebook was a monumental one as DSE created history as the first in the Caribbean country to do a virtual festival. The decision to include Instagram and YouTube as streaming platforms created a blockbuster. All three platforms showcased the all-Jamaican line-up, produced by an all-Jamaican team to rave reviews,” Bogdanovich said.
“The costs of this bold venture were large, but we felt this was an investment we needed to make to keep our festival relevant, and to promote Jamaican music and culture, while also giving the Jamaican music community a chance to connect with fans globally in this long period of isolation and separation,” Bogdanovich further stated.
Regarding the viewership, Bogdanovich added, “The results of the festival streaming broke all records we know of. Between July 24-26, Facebook had 632,000 views, YouTube 1,642,000, Instagram 860,000, totalling 134,000 views. When you add global viewing parties, you get an estimated viewing total of 3,448,390 – 3,761,880 for the festival time window.
Other impressive metrics reported between July 24-26 include The Reggae Sumfest Youtube channel having 275,000 unique individual viewers, and picking up 18,000 new subscribers, Instagram visits of 393,621, and picking up 47,400 new followers, and all of the performing artists showing social media follower gains of 1,000–10,000.
“The comments on the quality of the production were as important as the volume of the viewership,” Bogdanovich said. “While the world is well aware of the talent to be found in Jamaica’s musicians, many were blown away by the excellence of the technical presentation and the achievement of the authentic energy and feel of the festival. We were proud to be able to showcase the creativity and technical expertise of the professionals in Jamaica’s entertainment industry which are among the best in the world,” Bogdanovich added.
The Sumfest boss expressed his gratitude to the festival’s loyal sponsors who came on board in short order to make the production possible — The Jamaica Tourist Board, Mastercard, FLOW, Grace Foods, H&L True Value, The R Hotel, Tracks & Records, Phase 3 Productions, Martin Lewis Events, Main Events, Pepsi, J Wray & Nephew White Rum, Magnum, National Commercial Bank, The Gleaner & Star, Barcode, Pure Country, and new partners Catherine’s Peak, Younis Investments, and Zoukie Trucking.
Organisers said that the footage from Reggae Sumfest 2020 can still be accessed on Facebook and YouTube. The shows will also be aired on FLOW 1 soon.
Patrons can visit the official website at www.reggaesumfest.com, or Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @reggaesumfest for further updates.