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Reggae Sumfest is celebrating the 25th staging of this annual event and I have prepared a timeline of the important events over the years.

1993

Annual reggae music festival Reggae Sunsplash pulls out of Montego Bay and businessmen in the city come together and  form Summerfest Productions and a new annual festival Reggae Sumfest is born.

The first staging takes place on August 11, 1993 and runs for 4 consecutive days.

Among the acts to perform at this inaugural staging are Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks, Edi Fitzroy,  Dennis Brown, Ben E King, Percy Sledge.

Future Sumfest performer Tarrus (Omar) Riley then 14 years old is in the audience with his father veteran singer Jimmy Riley

1994

Major performers include Inner Circle, Garnett Silk and Temptations, Billy Paul and Sparrow.

1995

Morgan Heritage makes its first appearance.

1996

For the first time, no foreign acts are included in the line up and Organizers lose money.

1997

Lieutenant Stitchie performs even though he had been injured in a car accident on his way to the performing venue.

1998

Organizers put on  a street session for the first time.

Boyz II Men performed.

1999

John Holt, Gregory Isaacs and John Holt pay tribute in song to Dennis Brown who died earlier in the year.

Morgan Heritage and their father Derrick Morgan perform on the same stage but on different nights

There are 2 dancehall themed nights.

2000

Joe, Steel Pulse, Wyclef Jean were among those who performed.

2001

Snoop Dogg lights up a ganja spliff while performing.

Bunny Wailer ends the festival at 6.35 a.m. on the final night.

2002

Damian, Julian, Ky-Mani and Stephen Marley performed a rendion of their dad Bob Marley’s hit “Could you be loved”.

Burning Spear, Ashanti, Ja Rule performed.

2003

Destiny’s Child was the only foreign act performing that year.

Beyonce and Sean Paul performed their hit “Baby Boy”.

2004

Rappers Ludacris,Kanye West,  legendary R&B singer Lionel Richie performed.

2005

Ciara, Akon and Fantasia (2004 American Idol winner) performed.

2006

Missy Elliot and Rihanna performed.

2007

Performers included Mary J Blige, LL Cool J, Gentleman, Alison Hinds, Tessanne Chin (first time).

2008

Rappers T-Pain, Little Wayne perform.

Bounty Killer is arrested after he used expletives on stage.

Jah Cure performs after being recently released from prison.

2009

Tito Jackson performs in honour of his brother Michael who passed away a few weeks earlier.

Toni Braxton performs.

2010

Elephant Man, Chris Brown and Usher combine for a joint performance.

2011

R. Kelly cancels due to emergency tonsil surgery.

Nicky Minaj is fined Ja. $1,000 (US $11 at the time) for using indecent language.

Jamaican reggae group Chalice celebrates its 30th anniversary.

2012

Shabba Ranks performs after an 18 year absence.

2013

Chronixx and No-Madzz make their debuts.

2014

R&B singers Jason Derulo and Jordin Sparks (2007 American Idol winner) perform.

6 months after winning NBC’s “The Voice” singing competition, Tessanne Chin performs.

2015

Rapper Rick Ross is scheduled to perform but cancels due to legal issues. Other performers are rapper TI and Oscar and Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson.

2016

Reggae Sumfest is sold to Downbeat records and the new owners decide not to have any foreign acts as the costs have become prohibitive.

 

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