Downsound Entertainment executive and Dancehall music producer Cordell Skatta Burrell, says there is no doubt that all patrons planning to attend Reggae Sumfest 2022, will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The way it is going right now for Reggae Sumfest, 2022, whether people like it or not it’s gonna have to be a fully vaccinated show,” Skatta told host Anthony Miller of Television Jamaica’s The Entertainment Report recently.
“Like it or not because we have rules to adhere to. And if the government set the rules – we are a big festival – is not a little patty shop; is not a dance; is not a party; is a big festival that people coming from all over the world and we want to invite them to come and party freely,” he added.
In late May, Reggae Sumfest executive producer and CEO of Downsound Entertainment Josef Bogdanovich, had said he was hoping for widespread vaccination against COVID-19, in order to make this year’s staging of the annual weeklong music festival a reality. The event, which is usually staged in July, had been rescheduled to October, with the expectations of a physical presentation.
“We have to encourage the opening up of the entertainment sector, and vaccinations is the way to go… We really want to present a physical show, the real deal… real live music. But we can only go forward with vaccination, reduced COVID numbers and the protocols from government regarding entertainment events,” Bogdanovich had told the Jamaica Observer at the time.
Weeks later the date had to be pushed back, with Bogdanovich indicating that preparations were underway to stage the event in December. He said at the time that it would have “a line and an area for people who are vaccinated and can prove it”, and multiple lines for testing, according to a Gleaner report.
However, not too long after, he declared in a subsequent interview, that in lieu of Reggae Sumfest 2021, he and his team had an alternative event in mind “using a different platform”.
“It’s different from Sumfest, but it is coming from the producers of Reggae Sumfest, so you know it’s going to be hot. We have all the artistes and we are looking at a one-night event, perhaps in December,” he told The Star tabloid.
In the meantime, Skatta, who has recently recovered from COVID-19, has again urged Jamaicans to take precautions and follow the requisite protocols to protect themselves.
“After my COVID-19 experience I can only advise my fellow country Man and Woman to be careful and do what you must to protect Yourselves. Your Health choices are Personal and Yours to make,” the Coolie Dance producer said.
The Calabar High School old boy also cautioned his monied compatriots against encouraging poorer Jamaicans to take to the streets to protest against COVID-19 containment measures, as has been the case in some countries, including several Caribbean islands.
“It’s hard out here for a lot of Folks especially those who are not financially stable enough to stock up on food and supplies for days and it’s time those who are encouraging them to be rebellious and create mayhem over the rules to step up and create a fund to assist those who are facing hardships,” Skatta urged.
“If you not going to show up at the Police Station with Bail money and Lawyers to free the People DO NOT ENCOURAGE THEM TO DEFY THE SYSTEM. It’s unfair to encourage poor People to fight your battles and you are not out there on the frontlines putting up resources to aid them when the system claps back. #covid_19 is real #protectyourselves,” he declared.