It is true that music is an art form that transcends various dimensions. Also true is the fact that not all musical forms travel seamlessly. Quite a few don’t travel well, becoming limited to a particular region. Although, this isn’t the case with Reggae. It may have emerged in Jamaica, but its presence can be felt everywhere.
Reggae is the musical genre that revolutionized Jamaican music. Developed in the late 60s, it arrived as a cultural bombshell not only to Jamaica but to the whole civilization. With its slow rhythm, militant and spiritual lyrics, coupled with the (appropriately, if we may add) rebellious appearance of its musicians, Reggae has impacted musical genres, cultures and communities throughout the world.
It has strongly contributed to the development of new counterculture movements, especially in Africa, the USA and Europe.
Bob Marley was one of the most influential Reggae music artists and he was also known for holding one of the most legendary reggae concerts in history, which took place in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978.
Reggae music has originated from just one island in the Caribbean but now it has become an international sensation. It has blended so well that you might not even realise it’s there.
Reggae was never just a piece of regional music and its true spirit is now celebrated worldwide in the form of reggae music festivals and thus it is bringing people closer and uniting them under a single art form.
1. Romantic Rhythms, Antigua
Romantic Rhythms, an international reggae music festival in Antigua, is a new addition to the summer line-up, which culminates in August with the notorious Carnival celebrations.
The festival, aimed at becoming a rival to the Dominican Carnival, has the potential to become the leading musical event in the entire Caribbean region. The music festival already had some success in its first year of operation since it had seen some of the world’s top artists performing in it.
2. Reggae on the Hill, Barbados
The Barbados Reggae Festival began in 2005 and has since grown to become one of the most important and leading Reggae festivals in the world.
The festival’s programme has evolved gradually, and it now features quality and well-known artists, both locals and visitors. The festival’s events take place in a variety of locations and draw a sizable crowd of reggae fans.
3. Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica
Reggae Sumfest is a world-known festival celebrating reggae music. In 2017, this week-long reggae festival celebrated its 25th anniversary. It is held every summer in Montego Bay and features one Dancehall night and two reggae nights with local and international acts. It has since then grown to include a beach party, a sound clash, and a street jam.
Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, are among some of the celebrities who have participated in the festival.
The festival is held outside, and attendees are encouraged to dress comfortably and bring a chair because this lasts until the sun rises.
4. Montreal Reggae Festival, Montreal
Since 2004, this Reggae Festival has been held in Montreal. Now, it has grown in size and quality, attracting a large number of reggae music fans from across Canada and the United States. The three-day festival features top acts from Canada, Jamaica, the United States, and Europe.
The event is regarded as the most popular of its kind in Eastern North America. More than 50,000 attendees, residents and tourists, attend the festival in the city during the 3 days of the festival.
The performances are held in the open air on three stages along the pier of Montreal’s old port.
5. Notting Hill Carnival, London
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual Caribbean carnival event held in London since 1966 on the streets of Kensington’s Notting Hill district in over two days each August (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday).
Every year, around a million people attend this massive street festival in Notting Hill, which celebrates the Caribbean and Black diasporic cultures. It is led by the British West Indian Community and this Carnival incorporates elements from a variety of other festivals around the world.