MONTEREY BAY REGGAE FESTIVAL – AUGUST 8TH-10TH, 2013 – MONTEREY, CA


monterey

The Monterey Bay Reggae Festival featured a nice selection of international artists from Jamaica, Hawaii, Haiti etc… Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder and Barrington Levy were definitely the highlights of the event and rocked the connoisseur crowd with new and classic hits. The group Fiji from Hawaii also delivered nice Reggae and R&B music to the delight of the crowd which featured many of their compatriots. There was also great drumming and dance performance from the Haitian Rascin Band which demonstrated the deep African roots embedded in Haitian culture and Folklore. The festival was rather small but had a nice selection of Food vendors that delivered Soul Food, Jamaican and Greek food amongst others. The camping site still had a lot of space left and Parking was definitely not an issue.

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REGGAE ON THE RIVER – AUGUST 1ST-4TH, 2013 – GARBERVILLE, CA


reggaeontheriver

This Reggae Festival featured various artists mostly from Jamaica but also from across the globe (Julian Marley, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Junior Kelly, Les Nubians, The Meditations, Nkulee Dube, Daara J etc…). The festival was very well-organized and definitely worth the 12-hour drive from Los Angeles just for the scenic location of the camping site by the river as well as the healthy organic food provided by the organizers and vendors and the performances of course. The organizers went as far as using water trucks which doused the spectators with cool water due to the intense summer heat. Julian Marley was definitely the highlight of the Festival being a member of Reggae’s Royal Family and delivered great music and singing; while Anthony B had the most electrifying performance with his high energy, interactions with the crowd and stage presence with the multitude of Nyabinghi Flag bearers waving the Ghanaian and Jamaican Flags on stage. Newcomers like Nkulee Dube (Lucky Dube’s daughter) very pleasantly surprised the crowd with her vocal delivery and dancing and proudly represented her South African father Lucky (RIP) and Africa as a whole. Les Nubians delivered sultry performances like the grammy nominees that they are and were a delight to interact with backstage. Tarrus Riley had a grandiose performance and showed his wide array of Reggae and Dancehall influences. New artist Natural Black is definitely an artist we should be paying attention to, somewhat reminiscent of Sizzla and Bounty Killer. Morgan Heritage definitely rocked the crowd and had an appearance by Senegal’s renowned Aladji Man from Daara J. The Festival seemed like an extended vacation because of the variety of attractions from the beautiful Clearwater river to the vendors (Food, Art, Clothing…) and the Sound Systems. Major issues were however linked to the lack of cellular network coverage in this rural area, which is in our times highly inconvenient.

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