Reggae Sumfest rolls out coronavirus strategy for July show

Joe Bogdanovich wants patrons and vendors to play their part in controlling the spread of the virus.

While events worldwide are modifying and cancelling as a result of the coronavirus, ‘the greatest reggae show on Earth’, Reggae Sumfest, has announced its strategy to combat the virus for the two-day festival scheduled for July 17 and 18 in St James.

Festival organiser Joe Bogdanovich made the announcement on Tuesday, March 10, coincidentally the same day the first case of the coronavirus was reported in Jamaica.

“We want to ensure that we do the best we can for our patrons’ safety.”

— Joe Bogdanovich

Set to unfold at its home base, Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex, in Montego Bay, the festival will be instituting stocked washrooms, hand sanitizer stations and a health hub.

“Sumfest recognises that the coronavirus is a legitimate health scare, and though it doesn’t do well in temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius or 78 degrees Fahrenheit, we want to ensure that we do the best we can for our patrons’ safety,” Bogdanovich said.

“We will be ensuring handsoaps and paper towels are constantly stocked in the washrooms and available to all vendors. We will be installing hand sanitizer stations at entrances and key points throughout the venue, and we’ll have a health hub with sanitizer, alcohol wipes, a nurse that can take a digital temperature quickly, as well as attending to minor scrapes and cuts. If a person isn’t well they’ll be taken to our on-site medical team.”

Safe space

Bogdanovich also urged vendors and patrons to play their part in preventing the possible spread of the virus.

“We are requiring all vendors and booth holders to have hand sanitizer and/or alcohol wipes available for their patrons throughout the night,” he started.

Grammy winner Koffee is expected to perform at Reggae Sumfest.

“We’re also asking all patrons to help us make the festival a safe space, and if you cough or sneeze, please remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or a folded arm or elbow. Also head for the washroom or a ‘sani-station’ to clean your hands.”

To this, he added: “See you in July.”

This year’s festival is expected to host acts like Shabba Ranks, Spice, Koffee, Jada Kingdom, Lila Ike, Stylo G and Daddy 1.

In its 28-year history, Reggae Sumfest has attracted patrons across the globe, and this year should be no different.

Some of the events that have cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak include the Texas South by Southwest Festival and the Tucson Festival of Books. Ireland has cancelled its St. Patrick’s Day parades. It is also said that organisers of the major Coachella festival have postponed the event until October.