6 Must-Attend West Coast Music Festivals, Part One
It’s Summertime, People of America!!!! In sunny California, it is prime time for recreation. From concerts, cookouts, travel, and camping to water sports car shows, county fairs and more: the options are nearly endless. The tourists are out in droves experiencing all the major landmarks. Whether dining or stopping at a café for your morning Joe, popping into a local vinyl music shop or picking at your favorite thrift store, you can walk around in any downtown area bumping into people from all over the world. If you are an outdoorsy person, then California and the Pacific Northwest will be heaven for you now straight through to September.
I can personally guarantee that if you head west to us this season, there will be a menagerie of top notch festivals for you and your friends to attend. Whatever your taste in Food, Music and Culture, there is something for everyone!
Lauren recently requested that I put together a list of the top six, “Must-See Festivals” happening up and down the Pacific Coast this summer. To this, I confidently replied, “No problem!” (Ummmm, hang on a sec, Debs not so fast! It turns out, my dear Igniters, that there are so many amazing festivals throughout the region this season that it was almost impossible to choose!) So festival heads, I want you to know that I have lovingly, and painstakingly, picked through 20 or 30 of these gems to curate a list that is sure to be a hit with all music nuts! We will be releasing them as a part of our series: 6 Must-Attend West Coast Music Festivals. With each article, you are going to get an in depth look at the festival itself, the musicians who will be playing and the experience that will be waiting for you. The total package!
And to get ready for your summer festival experiences, be sure to read Lauren’s article: “The Only Things You Need to Bring to a Festival.” With this list in hand, and Lauren’s experienced advice, you are sure to breeze through this summers offerings with the prowess of a seasoned festival-ee!
Pick One: Reggae on The River, August 4-7, 2016
This 32nd annual Reggae Festival started as a non-profit 32 years ago to raise money for the new Garberville Community Center after an arsonist had burned down the existing structure. The fest is a solid tradition for all Northern California Reggae Lovers. The setting is in Humboldt County at French’s Camp, and only a 45-minute drive to the beauty of Highway 1’s Coastline. This year the festival bowl is nestled next to the Eel River surrounded by giant redwood groves, the setting could not be more ideal. The list of Headliners for each day is mind blowing, to say the least!
Thursday kicks off with nine artists including New Kingston, Jah Sun, Lion D and with long-awaited headliners Protoje and The Indiggnation Band fanning the embers of a steady fire at the end of day one.
Friday begins with a treasure trove of veteran artists. Ranging from Dancehall legends to DJ’s, that were vetted in Kingston before most of us even knew that Reggae lived! They are Big Youth, U-Roy, Mad Professor, Soul Syndicate and Earl Zero! WOW, I am deliciously overwhelmed and excited by this line-up!!!!! I cannot wait to mingle backstage and get as many words as I can from these iconic Musicians!!!
Another Pirates Booty of Veteran Artists! At the end of this Blazing Trail is “Sizzla Kalonji. He was rumored to have died in a car crash back in 2012, and I am happy to report he is alive and well. He is an absolute must-see in the Saturday Night line-up! He will be joined by King Yellowman. Say what?! “This cannot be,” I say to myself. But it is true, reggae fans! Formerly known as Yellowman, this artist has been here from the start. I cannot wait to witness this genius member of Reggae Royalty throw down his patois patter!!! Also on the roster are Fatoumata Diawara, Locos Por Juana, and San Francisco Favorites Bayonics.
Finally, on Sunday, as the mood changes, people will begin to pack up their tents, clean up their campsites, and say bittersweet goodbyes to the many new friends that are sure to be made at ROR. The royal tradition continues with Anthony B closing it down dancehall politik style. A Tireless spokesman for the poor and oppressed, he confronts the issues, and stirs the political pot with his lyrics. He will undoubtedly light a bonfire of passion in the hearts of everyone watching. Joining him this day are Mbongwana Star and Sister Carol, a veteran herself and the daughter of Howard East–a career engineer at Radio Jamaica Rediffusion–she comes with a solid song writing prowess and a knee high beginning in the world of Reggae. Also featured are, Jesse Royal, Addis Pablo, and The Ideals. But, wait–the fun doesn’t stop there! Reggae on The River prides themselves on their special guest line-ups and this year is no exception! Guesting are Keida, Prince Levy, Nature, Fyakin and Rocker T.
This is quite possibly one of the most Impressive line-ups I have ever been privileged to witness never mind write about! I will be covering the event for LaurenIgnited.com from start to finish. So, stay tuned and check the site regularly for interviews, crowd reactions, food, and culture featured articles. This festival line-up is sure to be the stuff of Legend, even for Reggae on The River, and promises to have me completely over stimulated and exhausted. Look early, like NOW, for accommodations and camping. I started planning today and already most hotels are booked; try Air BNB if you don’t mind a drive. Igniters!!! Come on out and have a ball!!!!
Deborah Carson is a writer who hails from the city of Leicester in England. She has been heavily involved in the music business and music culture since her childhood. She now lives in Roseville, California working as a copywriter and Staff Writer for Lauren Ignited.
Images not property of Lauren Ignited.