Sport & Entertainment
JAM | Jul 11, 2024

Catherine Hall Stadium, Pier 1 to host exciting line-up of Reggae Sumfest pre-events

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Aerial view of Pier 1 on the Waterfront restaurant and bar in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Visit Jamaica)

The Catherine Hall Stadium is set to host four of the five pre-events for the Reggae Sumfest Festival, except for the All-White Party, which will remain at its traditional venue, Pier 1.

This year’s pre-events are designed to build excitement and community spirit ahead of the main festival. The festivities begin with the Reggae Sumfest Family Funday on Sunday (July 14). This event promises a fun-filled day for families, featuring activities and entertainment for all ages. Attendees can look forward to live performances, games, and various food vendors offering a range of delicious treats.

Following the Family Funday, the Street Dance takes place on July 15. This vibrant event will transform the streets into a lively dance floor, with music from top local DJs and dancehall artists. It’s a celebration of Jamaica’s rich musical heritage and an opportunity for everyone to come together and dance the night away.

On July 16, draped in luxury and defined by a dress code that drives patrons to don their best, Reggae Sumfest’s premium All White event, powered by Appleton Estate takes over Pier 1. The highly anticipated event, known for delivering top-class music and an unforgettable experience will kick off at 7:00 pm. 

The excitement picks up again on July 17 with the Global Sound Clash. This thrilling event brings together sound systems from around the world to compete in a high-energy battle of music and performance. It’s a showcase of DJ talent and a testament to the global influence of Jamaican music.

(From left) DJ Spectre, DJ Sisco and DJ Lank of Code Red Sound System are fired up and ready to compete at this year’s Reggae Sumfest Global Sound Clash powered by Magnum Tonic Wine slated to take place at the Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay on July 17, 2024. (Photo: Contributed)

The pre-events culminate on Thursday, July 18, with the new Rumfest Blitz event. This unique event is a merger of the Appleton Jamaica Rumfest and Blitz, creating a seamless two-in-one experience. Attendees can enjoy a wide variety of rum tastings, alongside live music and entertainment. It’s a celebration of Jamaica’s renowned rum culture, paired with the dynamic energy of Blitz.

According to Karla Jankee, head of special events and marketing at Reggae Sumfest, choosing Catherine Hall Stadium as the location for the pre-events met several important criteria for the team.”  Choosing Catherine Hall Stadium as the venue made perfect sense logistically. We wanted a location close to the main venue and situated within a community to involve local vendors, whom we provide spots for free to sell their items. Being more inclusive of Montego Bay was a priority, and Catherine Hall fit that vision perfectly with its existing structures like ticket booths, bathrooms, green spaces, and ample parking. It’s the perfect event space in my view. And working with the [St James] Municipal has been a dream.” Jankee said.

She added: “Keeping most of the events in one place and just changing up the look and feel for each will be easier and more exciting for patrons. We specifically sought an outdoor space with both lawn and pavement within a community setting. From our very first site visit, Catherine Hall just felt like the right fit. This choice allows us to streamline our logistics, making it more efficient and cost-effective. By centralising the pre-events at Catherine Hall, we can leverage the existing infrastructure, which saves time and resources. The amazing green spaces also provide a beautiful backdrop, enhancing the overall experience for our attendees.”

(Photo: Facebook @caribbeanairlines)

Rashaun Jennings, who is overseeing the venue setup, agreed, highlighting the efficiency and reduced effort required. “With the basic infrastructure in place, it’s easier to change the look and feel of the space for each event. Last year, moving between venues was strenuous. This year, we’ll save time, manpower, and transportation costs, allowing us to focus on décor and creative elements. It is truly pleasing to see the reactions of our guests when they enter a venue that is beautiful as well as functional” Jennings said.

Jennings also emphasised the benefits of managing fire safety, health and safety, and security.

“If things aren’t perfect for the first event, we have the opportunity to improve for the following ones. The stadium’s layout allows for more efficient management than some previous venues,” he added.

Claudia Artwell, venue manager at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, is coordinating with local food vendors. “We’ve offered community members the chance to operate food booths at the Reggae Sumfest Family Funday, the Street Dance, and the Global Sound Clash. They’re excited and looking forward to the experience. We’ve discussed menus to ensure appropriate catering, especially for the Family Funday, which attracts many children,” Artwell explained. She noted that working closely with the community has strengthened their bond with the Reggae Sumfest Festival. “They now see us as part of the community and themselves as an integral part of the festival,” Artwell added.

Mayor of Montego Bay, Richard Vernon, applauded the use of the stadium for the Reggae Sumfest events.

“I am very pleased that the organizers of Reggae Sumfest have seen it fit and proper to host the pre-events of the 2024 festival at the Catherine Hall Multi-Purpose Stadium. These events can be described as ‘door openers’ for the Catherine Hall Stadium to be listed among the premier show and entertainment venues in Western Jamaica,” said Vernon.

Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon.(Photo: JIS)

“They fit perfectly into the entertainment landscape of our city and parish.  Reggae Sumfest has been playing a major role in building the reputation of Montego Bay as an entertainment city and these events bring value to the space which I am sure will become a much sought-after location for not just sporting, but entertainment, fun days and other family type events. The Catherine Hall Multi-Purpose Stadium is a spacious and user-friendly venue, which has all the necessary amenities to make it a truly a multi-purpose venue,” the mayor added.


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