“Reggae became like a dirty word.” – Leo Cripps, interview with MetroNews, 2015
Between the canceled shows and half-promises, Calgary’s reggae scene was dying. The community, while tight-knit, stood shaken, unsure of it’s future. Everything was all but ready to give one last breath, if not for a lingering heartbeat shared by a kindled few.
And one by one it’s rhythm nodded our heads, and its pulse shook us until we danced, and together we heard it sing. Over a decade has passed since we first shared that heartbeat. Frankly, it’s getting stronger and stronger every year.
On behalf of the Calgary Reggae Festival Society, we are proud to announce the 14th annual Calgary International Reggae Festival!
As one of Calgary’s longest running festivals, Reggaefest ’17 will unite some of reggae’s most exciting talent, both locally and around the world on one amazing stage this August 17th-19th at Shaw Millennium Park.
Taking the stage this year is The Strong One herself, Etana. Joining her is Mexican reggae pioneers Antidoping, JUNO Award Nominees Lyndon John X and Kirk Diamond, groove machine Vancouverites Mad Riddim with Jason Wilson (who will also be hosting a musical talk!), melodic infused storyteller Pressure Busspipe, dancehall deejay and spiritual successor to King Yellowman Al-Beeno, the original Mr. Gangalee himself Louie Culture, Torontonian empress Natural Fyah, Belize transplant and multi-genre artist Oral Fuentes, multi-dimensional captivator Steele, Ewarton native and breezy voiced Lenya Wilks, hometown heroes Aktivate, as well as the energetic dance inducers PowerHouze Band. Finally, backing our amazing artists is the just as amazing band Hardcore!
Last year we invited a newcomer family from Syria to Reggaefest. We were so happy to welcome them to Canadian culture, we’ve decided to invite another family this year!
New this year Reggaefest ’17 passes grant access to the entire weekend, meaning you get to be there for the full experience! Limited Early Bird Passes are available until June 15.