Mackie Conscious bats for conscious music at Reggae Sumfest
Reggae Sumfest, one of the world’s most popular festivals, has been contributing much to the Jamaican economy. The show, which is held in MoBay, the tourist capital of Jamaica, gives scores of music lovers a feeling of satisfaction because there is so much the second city has to offer outside of music.
Apart from the music, there is an array of souvenirs – from T-shirts depicting Bob Marley, to carvings, in addition, to our foods, beaches, and our history.
There is talk surrounding the questionable performance of some artistes, despite a number of mega performances including a tribute to veteran producer Lloyd “King Jammys” James era with the likes of Lt. Stitchie, Pinchers, Leroy Gibbons, Bunny General, and Chaka Demus.
Mackie Conscious, who has graced the stage of Sumfest as much as 10 times, has been closely following its growth over the years with high praises for the promoters. However, for this year, his concern takes a serious look at improving the Sumfest product.
“Having a major festival such as Sumfest, even once a year, is not an easy task. There is the venue to secure, staging, security, and the calibre of artistes. And, most importantly, maintaining the brand.”
“Sumfest is a Reggae Festival, and the first thing that comes to mind is rich authentic conscious music which seeks to entertain, inform, and educate.”
“Conscious music should help to promote unity, love, and discipline, and energise a nation towards independence and prosperity.”
“Taking into consideration that Montego Bay is sprinkled by more than a handful of hotbeds, and Sumfest has not lost its prime ingredients, is a blessing in disguise.”
“Over the years many international reggae festivals have copied Sumfest and are doing quite well, And, these include festivals in European countries like Spain, Belgium, and Germany.”
“Our Sumfest seems to be losing the authenticity of reggae music. By this, I mean our foundation of reggae and dancehall genre is being replaced by other genres of music including rap and hip hop.”
“Sumfest is a Reggae Festival, so let us stick to our foundation which offers our younger generation of artistes a path to play in society.”
“Bob Marley’s music continues to inspire, even forty years after his death. Jimmy Cliff’s music has lessons of fortitude and the will to fight oppression.”
“I would have thought the likes of Ziggy and Stephen Marley would have been at Sumfest, so too is Marcia Griffiths, a remnant of the Marley’s camp.”
“Also to be included are Abijah, Hezron, and Nature Ellis, who were not present. These are artistes with positive lyrical content which is much needed to educate our growing, misguided youths who need urgent therapy.”
Mackie Conscious is concerned that this year’s Sumfest has lost some valuable points for including artistes who consistently promote negative lyrical content.
“I am bemoaning the disregard for decency at a time when social media gravitate towards all things dark and ugly in society.”
Mackie Conscious is recommending that “for next Sumfest the promoters launch s publicity campaign, four months prior to the festival – not only to shore up support but to let Jamaicans aware of the wide benefits Tourism offers in investment and jobs.”
“Finally, have at least ten young acts promoting the Sumfest brand. This will inspire the population that a nation cannot grow and prosper through the growth and proliferation of music promoting illegal guns, illicit drugs, and violence.
(Photo courtesy of Mackie Conscious)