Attention Reggae Music Fans! There are reggae music festivals outside of Jamaica. Here’s a guide to some awesome reggae music festivals across the globe.
Pai Reggae Festival. Thailand
Next Chance to go: Catch the 7th installment of the Pai Reggae Festival January 27th -29th
Ostróda Reggae Festival. Poland
You have probably never put the words ‘reggae’ and ‘Poland’ in the same sentence, but the Ostroda Reggae festival in Ostroda, Poland is one of Eastern Europe’s largest concerts for reggae music lovers. Now in its 12th year, the three-stages festival attracts world-renowned reggae and dub artists, international diplomats and thousands of reggae fans from across the world. The message: promote respect, tolerance and peaceful coexistence of all nations, nationalities and colors of the skin.
Next Chance to Go: Look for it in August or September 2013
For 10 years in a row, Reggaetown has been bringing a dose of ‘Jam Rock’ to the land down under. Situated amidst the rainforest, adjacent to the World Heritage areas of Barron Falls National Park in the small village of Kuranda near Cairns, Reggaetown is the perfect spot for dreaded Aussies to lay down their surfboards and catch some of the biggest acts in reggae music.
Next Chance to Go: There’s still time to catch it this year. It starts September 1st, 2012.
Deutschland hosts quite a few reggae festivals throughout the year, but none of them compare to Summerjam. For 27 years, that’s right, 27 years Cologne has played host to quite possibly the most well-known reggae festival in Europe. Acts like Black Uhuru, Stephen Marley an Sean Paul have graced their stages and rocked out for tens of thousands of people. Held in the beautiful city of Cologne, Summerjam is a MUST for a summer Euro trip.
Next Chance to Go: Look out for Summerjam midsummer, early July 2013.
One Love Jamaica Festival. Japan
The Japanese have had an obsession with reggae music since the 70′s. At the famous Dancehall Contest in Montego Bay Jamaica, Japanese dancer Junko Kudo, was the first non-Jamaican ever to take the grand prize home. So it’s no wonder that the annual One Love Jamaica Festival at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo is the largest and most well-known reggae music festival in all of Asia. The festival lasts two days with famous reggae talents and Jamaican food with a Japanese twist.
Next Chance to Go: May 2013
Dedicated to nurturing peace and promoting conscious music, Sierra Nevada Reggae and World Music Festival has been in existence for over 20 years. For three days, festival-going peace seekers camp out and jam out to the sounds of reggae and world music from some of the most popular artists around the world.
Next Chance to Go: End of June 2013
Garance Festival. France
Paris is awesome, but so is the southern region of France. 100 km right outside of Marseilles at Arthur Rimbaud Park in Bagnols-sur-Cèze is the home of France’s largest reggae festival. This past year Garance saw more than 45,000 festival goers in attendance to see acts like Rita Marley and the ‘Queen of Reggae’ Martha Griffiths with an incredible line up of the best deejays in dub.
Next Chance to Go: Midsummer around July 2013
Rototom Sunsplash Festival. Spain
Over 25,000 people from 96 countries, no sponsors, a legendary lineup on the beach in Benicassim, Spain. Apparently at the Rototom Sunsplash Festival it goes down and for a good cause. The Rototom non-profit collective donates all its proceeds to humanitarian charity efforts so you can feel good about yourself after partying all night.
Next Chance to Go: Look for it in August 2013
Back to Africa Festival. Gambia
Why “Back to Africa”? Because for the founders of the festival the message represents “Black is Beautiful”. And although the three-day festival is in its freshman year, it welcomed 400+ international tourists and featured over 35 artists and DJs. The event was launched in January 2012 by one of the most successful reggae labels, Ariwa Sounds, to celebrate 30 years of making good music. The festival’s host, Mad Professor is known for mixing reggae with different genres so expect to hear dubstep, dancehall, roots and lovers rock.
Next Chance to Go: January 25th-27th 2013 at a seaside resort in Batukunku, Gambia.
Uppsala Reggae Festival. Sweden
Uppsala has been dubbed the “The Reggae Mecca of Scandinavia” and it’s the home of Scandinavia largest strictly reggae festival in Scandinavia. Located in Sweden fourth largest city and approximately 44 miles north of Stockholm, the Uppsala Reggae festival has featured great acts such as burning Spear, Third World and Kymani Marley for the past 25 years. Founder Yared Tekeste, calls it “a meeting place for people who need to express and experience love and togetherness. We call it Oneness. Our contribution is Oneness.”
Next Chance to Go: August 2013
Know of other reggae festivals around the globe? Tell us in the comments.