Appleton Temptation Island (ATI), Red Stripe Dream Weekend and Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, Still On
There's a lot in store for partygoers this summer. A number of major events will be staged across the island as patrons across the world look to Jamaica as their summer vacation spot. From Appleton TemptationIsland (ATI) to Dream Weekend to Reggae Sumfest, among others, there is much to look forward to on the party scene.
But what of the extended economic difficulties and the current social unrest, coupled with the expected lingering effects in the coming months?
Promoters of Reggae Sumfest, Summerfest Promotions, have indicated that despite the challenges facing the event, the annual festival will take place between July 18 and 24 at Catherine Hall, St James. Johnny Gourzong, executive producer of the festival, cites reduced sponsor support and increased production and artiste fees as some of the challenges.
"Reggae Sumfest is important to Jamaica's tourism and impacts positively on the economy and despite reduced sponsorship, we decided it was important to beat the odds and host the festival this year," said Gourzong. Marketing manager Marcia McDonnough added that "The economic situation has been affecting us from last year but it has not changed drastically this year, so apart from the loss of a few sponsors, such as Air Jamaica, things should be pretty normal."
Managing director of ATI, Alex Chin, said the economic situation has caused he and his team to downsize the party weekend.
"Last year, it was 10 parties, but this year, it has been reduced to seven," Chin confessed. He went on to state that he is expecting the same patron turn out as last summer.
"It can't be that much more," he stated, "as Negril only has so much and no more rooms and hotels."
sponsors pouring in
In terms of sponsors, Chin acknowledged that he was receiving quite a number of calls from persons who want to come on-board because they realise that ATI is a major calendar event that people want to be part of.
"Currently, we have about five or six major sponsors, separate from the smaller sponsors who do not want to come on for the entire weekend," said Chin.
Meanwhile, the promoters of Dream Weekend said they expect the splash they made in their first year, last summer to carry over this year.
"Last year, when the economic recession first hit, we were sold out of armbands from before the Dream Weekend began. We created such a good product that the demand greatly outweighed the supply but we weathered it pretty well," boasted Kamal Bankay, PR manager of Dream Weekend and promoter of Extreme Wet 'N' Wild. In terms of sponsorship, he stated that most of the sponsors from last year have agreed to be a part of the weekend once more and they are currently in negotiations with other sponsors.
"Based on the success of Dream's staging last year, we are now the front-runners when compared to the other party weekend," Bankay stated. He added that the Dream Weekend was a well-oiled machine with a tight and well-run budget.
"No losses were generated last year. It was a very profitable venture mainly because the sponsors came on-board with such overwhelming support to subsidise the costs," he said.
Despite the economic situation, it would appear these major events are weathering the storm caused by the recession. Sponsorship is at an all-time high and the promoters all believe that these events will be well attended. source: go-jamaica