Rastafest, Canada’s largest Rastafari festival, highlights Reggae artists from Canada, the USA, and the Caribbean. The festival pays homage to Rastafarian culture and history and celebrates Reggae music in Canada. Rastafest 2017,is a five-day event, and includes the first ever Canadian Reggae Music Conference.
Reggae music has been a dominant force for decades, inspiring music, and musicians around the globe. Reggae, which started in Jamaica in the late 60’s, had its heyday in the 70’s and 80’s with the prominence of iconic artists such as Bob Marley. Reggae music today however, is facing major challenges.
Although popular with fans around the world, reggae is not getting the airplay it once commanded on mainstream international radio stations.
International music awards often don’t include reggae categories, and, worse still, Jamaican reggae artists now face very stiff competition from non-Jamaicans creating and performing reggae successfully. World-wide sales of recorded music in traditional formats have plummeted in the digital era.
“The number of reggae artists signed to major labels and large independent record labels has declined significantly in recent years, hence there is now less radio exposure for reggae on mainstream North American radio,” says Lloyd Stanbury, Jamaican entertainment attorney and music business consultant, who is also author of the book, “REGGAE ROADBLOCKS, A Music Business Development Perspective”.
Stanbury is the featured guest speaker at the Canadian Reggae Music Conference, presented by Rastafest Inc. Stanbury will talk about the future of reggae music, and how to keep this genre of music alive and prosperous in North America and around the world.
The 17th Annual Rastafest Reggae Festival runs from August 16th to August 20th.
The festival kicks off Wednesday August 16th, with a launch party at Reggae Lane, in Little Jamaica, on Eglinton Avenue West and Marlee Avenue. 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Canadian Reggae Music Conference will be held August 17th at the Toronto Plaza Hotel from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and August 18th at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A crowd of 20-thousand fans will descend on the Historic Black Creek Pioneer Village’s north property located at 7060 Jane Street (North West corner of Jane Street and Steeles Avenue West), for the two-day Rastafest Reggae Concert, Saturday, August 19th, and Sunday August 20th. Featured artists include Bushman, Kabaka Pyramid, Nana Mclean, Jay Douglas, Carl Henry, and Iauwata.
Rastafest is organized by Masani Productions and sponsored by Rastafest Inc.