By: Brian Jahn
With the summer festival season in high gear I thought I would post some classic Sunsplash images from Jamaica. I shot photos for Synergy, the promoters of Reggae Sunsplash for about 15 years in a row. Here is a morning shot of Steel Pulse’s David Hinds playing to the crowd. Anyone who has been to Reggae Sunsplash, or today’s reggae Sumfest knows how much fun it can be. Sumfest today is much shorter than Sunsplash was. Reggae Sunsplash events started about 9 p.m. and ended, usually with Dennis Brown about 8 in the morning. Not much sleep and copious amounts of Red Stripe, ganja and corn soup was the way to go, like the Mighty Diamonds song Never Get Weary was the motto to get through the night. Four hours of sleep in the daytime was the norm but was plenty to through night. The line ups used to be stellar, was a who’s who of reggae, Freddie McGregor, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Steel Pulse, Ken Boothe, Mighty Diamonds, Bunny Wailer Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Leroy Smart and the list goes on. The festivals today are a bit shorter ending around 4 in the morning and the line up has taken on a more international feel. When Reggae Sunsplash ended and Sumfest took over it was an end of an era but is still plenty of good music to be heard today.