The 11th annual Monterey Bay Reggaefest is happening this Labor day weekend, September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The three day event will once again be held at the Monterey county fairgrounds, in the seaside town of Monterey, California.
The evolving artist lineup now includes the Reggae Sunsplash tour, featuring Toots & The Maytals, Maxi Priest, and Third World on Friday Sept. 1st. These legends of reggae music are sure to please the audience with their polished stage performances, and long lists of hit songs and newer material as well. Opening acts on Friday include two artists from the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix. Batch, the lead singer and drummer for the band Motion, and Ras Attitude, a singer and Chanta from the V.I.Zion sound camp. Also opening Friday’s show is Rik Rok, London born singer/songwriter, from Jamaican descent.
Saturday’s lineup is an impressive arrangement of artists. Abijah, from Kingston JA., alongside Dub-Station. Bonafide, direct from Hawaii. Ras Bumpa, and Pressure from U.S.V.I. St. Thomas. More fire coming out of the likkle island known as St. Croix. I bet if I close my eyes, I will feel like I am back there at the beach called grassy point, (southeast of Christiansted ), drinkin’ an ital sea moss smoothie, and listening to some of the sweetest reggae music from outside a yard. Bambu Station, Army, Ibednego, and Lady Passion from St. Croix are sure to drop some heavy knowledge and beats.. Also appearing at the “Talent Showcase” is Binghi Ghost and Luv Fyah of St. Croix. Heavyweight Dub Champion of Colorado, and the Polynesian artist Fiji, will be performing on Saturday as well.
Church services will be well under way on Sunday when headlining artists Everton Blender, and Freddie McGregor bring the people upliftment through their message of roots and culture, and truth and rights, surely Jah will be blessing all present as these singers and players of instrument make a joyful noise unto the Lord, Jah! The humble lion, Warrior King will educate the people with his positive message and songs of praise of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The Waterhouse Kingston legend Don Carlos, will be performing his long list of hits and newer tunes, nicen’ up the crowd and building some conscious vibes. Trinidadian Soca artist Crazy, is bound to get the Northern California massive movin’ their feet to his up tempo beats. Rising Star Wisdom, will no doubt be enlightening the youth dem, and if we’re lucky, maybe we will see Warrior King and Wisdom share the stage again as they did last weekend at Reggae on the River. Singer, producer, and engineer, Casper, hailing out Canada, will be backed by the Roots Awakening band. Some Calypso music will be added to the mix with Calypso Rose, and the Soca Warrior, Maximus Dan will have the whole place a jump up!
In addition to the music there will once again be a basketball tournament, a play area for the kids, D.j.’s spinning music on the Patio, and The Rastafari Culture Museum will be on display. Not to mention all the wonderful ital food, Jamaican cuisine, and other food vendors there. Along with all the culture crafts vendors selling there goods from all over the world.
Monterey Bay Reggaefest has a completely different feel than the other big California summer festivals. Maybe because it is closer to the Bay Area cities, and in part due to the fact that it is not so rural, there is no onsite camping(R.V. sites only $50.00/night). I really like the vibes at this festival because there is a different congregation of people there. Perhaps because of the more affordable ticket price, a bargain at $60.00 for the three day weekend, and also once again because of it’s proximity to the cities to the north and south, there seems to be a more diverse crowd, and a real one love vibe present. If you haven’t yet made it out to one of California’s summer reggae festivals, this is the time to make time. You know you want to go, and the dancing and spiritual upliftment is so good for us all! For more information go to www.mbayreggaefest.net or call the festival hotline at 831-394-6534