Lonely Planet Writer

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest introduces 360-degree virtual reality music festival

One of Jamaica’s most popular music festivals, the iconic Reggae Sumfest, will be moving headlong into twenty-first-century technology this year by introducing 360-degree virtual reality streaming for those who wish to view the concerts from afar. The video will work on any device and will be available on the event’s website.

Beres Hammond (L) and Shaggy perform during Reggae Sumfest on July 28, 2013 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo by Shelby Soblick/Getty Images)
Beres Hammond (L) and Shaggy perform during Reggae Sumfest on July 28, 2013 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo by Shelby Soblick/Getty Images) Image by Getty Images

In late June, Icelandic singer Björk live-streamed her performance at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, becoming the first artist to use 360-degree, virtual reality technology to broadcast a live concert.

This year’s Sumfest, its 24th edition, will be taking place this week  from 17-23 July and will draw thousands of music enthusiasts to the island’s famous Montego Bay. Festivities include beach parties as well as live performances and DJ sets by well-known reggae and dancehall artists. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Our Music, Our Festival,’ and headliners include Barrington Levy, Sanchez and Tarrus Riley, who will be performing alongside an extensive roster of international and, excitingly, local musicians. Franchise owner Joe Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer, ‘We really want to focus on providing a great experience from start to finish for patrons, and this year we decided we want to give local acts the opportunity to entertain, an authentic reggae/dancehall experience fans have wanted for the longest while.’

Franchise owner Joe Bogdanovich told the Jamaica Observer, ‘We really want to focus on providing a great experience from start to finish for patrons, and this year we decided we want to give local acts the opportunity to entertain, an authentic reggae/dancehall experience fans have wanted for the longest while.’

Weekend passes are available for US$62, while individual evenings vary in price from USD $17 to $30 each for general entry. Tickets are available at reggaesumfest.com or at the door.