The Sherp lists 7 festivals that do an outstanding job of keeping the Reggae culture and the lifestyle alive while promoting their message of Love & Peace!
Reggae music originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The genre usually relates news, social gossip, and political comment. Since decades Reggae has incorporated politically and environmentally aware lyrics to promote a better world. Peace and Love are some of the most common messages conveyed through Reggae music. Reggae has since spread to many countries across the world, often incorporating local instruments and fusing with other genres. If you love reggae music and the beautiful culture, you must visit one of these reggae festivals in your lifetime!
1. California Roots Music And Arts Festival
The California Roots Music And Arts Festival takes inspiration from that massive musical explosion and shift in consciousness synonymous with late 1960s California counterculture. Despite it’s name, the festival is not all about California bands, nor is it just about roots reggae. It embodies quintessential California living and dreaming and delivers a cosmic blend of good vibes, true happiness, family, peace, love and joy to all who enter.
2. Jazz Reggae Festival, USA
The Jazz Reggae Festival has been an integral part of the UCLA and LA communities for the past 29 years. The festival has been responsible for over three decades of good vibes, jammin’ music, and cultural enrichment with a one-day festival under the Los Angeles sun. From the festival’s humble beginnings in 1986, it has continued to grow and develop while forging connections between UCLA and the broader Los Angeles community. Alongside sustainable initiatives and live art, the festival has showcased talent ranging from Ziggy Marley to Snoop Dogg to Erykah Badu.
3. Summerjam, Germany
Summerjam is a European reggae festival that takes places annually in July at the Fühlinger See, which is a lake located in Cologne, Germany. The event usually sees an audience of between 25,000 to 30,000 people. There are two stages and two tents located on the island, with the camping area surrounding the lake. From 1985 to 1993 the Summerjam took place at the Loreley, in 1994 and 1995 at the airport Wildenrath and since 1996 at its present location in Cologne.
4. Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica
Reggae Sumfest is the largest concert festival in Jamaica, taking place each year in mid-July in Montego Bay. The Sumfest, started in 1993, is officially sponsored by Red Stripe. It often attracts young crowds, and features a variety of Jamaican reggae artists such as Damian “Junior Gong” Marley and Stephen Marley, The Mighty Diamonds, Toots & the Maytals, dancehall stars like Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, Tommy Lee Sparta, Beenie Man and Lady Saw as well as international artists including 50 Cent, Rihanna and Usher.
5. Reggae On The River, USA
Reggae On The River is a reggae festival that is held annually on the first weekend in August in Humboldt County, California. It began in 1983 as a benefit for the Mateel Community Center, a nonprofit for southern Humboldt County. In that year the center’s community hall in Garberville was burned down by an arsonist, and the center charged then-board member Carol Bruno to work with Jack Arthur organizing the festival to raise money for a new hall. It has since been held annually at the beginning of August with some location changes.
6. Rototom Sunsplash, Spain
Rototom Sunsplash is one of the largest European reggae festivals. It takes place every summer at Benicassim, a few miles north of Valencia in Spain. The festival imitates the traditional Jamaican Reggae Sunsplash and since 1994 attracts thousands of reggae passionated people from various European countries and, thanks to concerts of international musicians, often many Jamaicans.
7. Montreal International Reggae Festival, Canada
The Montreal International Reggae Festival began in 2004, offering three days of “Reggae Rocking” on the Quays of The Old Port. They aim to not only showcase the pulsating Reggae beats of internationally renowned musicians, but also to highlight excellence among a diverse set of ‘Reggae Ambassadors’ from all corners of the world. Consistently embracing the theme, “United Against Violence” the Montreal International Reggae Festival has become a significant tradition for Reggae music lovers in and outside of Canada.
8. One Love Festival, UK
The One Love Festival is UK’s No. 1 Reggae and Dub Festival. The festival aims to bring Reggae and the message of Bob Marley to the people, i.e. One Love. One Love has been held since the past 9 years. The festival’s roots go back to 1978 when Bob Marley and The Wailers performed at the One Love Peace concert in Kingston’s National Arena. Against all the odds, Marley symbolically joined the hands of bitter rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga on stage following the concert the opposing factions having seen that their leaders weren’t hell bent on killing each other cooled down the conflict.