Reggae Sumfest: The Best Beach Party in the Caribbean

The largest concert in Jamaica, Reggae Sumfest, takes place every July in Montego Bay.  Started in 1993, this music festival is not to be missed. Jamaica’s biggest concert festival, drawing in large crowds of locals and tourists, runs for 6 days in mid-July. Between 10,000- 20,000 people attend Reggae Sumfest every year. The main concerts are the last 2 nights, known as Dancehall night and Reggae night. The most legendary artists as well as new and upcoming artists perform on these nights. The festival is a great opportunity to hear your favorite Jamaican artists, eat authentic jerk chicken and other local dishes, and party all night long with the locals!

I had the pleasure of attending Sumfest this July and it was truly an unforgettable experience. But if you go, there are a few things you should know. Watch for the announcement of the festival dates and book your hotel room right away. The 2017 dates have not yet been announced but you can watch for them on this event page.

The hotels in Montego Bay will sell out as locals and tourists both are booking rooms in the area. Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James are the closest hotel to the concert venue at a 3-minute taxi ride. Buying a VIP ticket is highly recommended. It will get you closer to the stage, the bathrooms and the food. Be warned that the concerts do not start until 9:00 or 10:00 PM and can go until the early morning hours, around 7:00 AM. The best artists usually perform last.


We were fortunate to be able to stay at the Secrets Wild Orchid. Not only is this resort close to the festival but it is one of the best resorts in Montego Bay. The adults only, all-inclusive resort is perfect for couples or groups. It’s very romantic for honeymooners, but also has a lot of activities. The room accommodations are spacious and modern, and the ocean view rooms offer perfect views of the sunset. Secrets Wild Orchid shares amenities with their sister property Secrets St James. The resorts sit side by side, and share restaurants, bars and pools. The beach is private and only for resort guests which is a huge plus. The public isn’t allowed in to try to solicit visitors while you relax on the beach.


I ate jerk chicken almost every day! Try Scotchies restaurant for authentic Jerk chicken, pork and other items. Secrets Wild Orchid also offered a jerk chicken cart open all night, and was a great treat for when we returned from Sumfest!


If Reggae music or experiencing authentic Jamaican culture is your thing, Reggae Sumfest is the place to go and The Tropical Travelers can get you there. We have the inside track ad first-hand knowledge of all things Jamaica and can plan the perfect adventure for you. Whether you go as a couple of with a group of friends, The Tropical Travelers can help. Contact us at 1.800.479.0949 or request a quote on our website.