Published on January 25th, 2012 | by Alyssa Narvell1
Hampton Reggae Festival Brings Positive Vibes
By: MaryAnn Jackson
Saturday, Jan. 21, Hampton Coliseum hosted its first Reggae Festival. Hampton Reggae fest featured not only local Reggae bands, but also regional Reggae artists and DJ’s as well. This nine hour long festival was a great opportunity for reggae fans to experience live music at one of Hampton Road’s favorite venues..
The Reggae Festival featured over 40 local and regional reggae bands and DJ’s. Some bands included in the line-up were The Itals, a reggae band out of Savana La Mar, Jamaica. The Itals, are known for defining Jamaica’s musical history. They are also known as one of Reggae’s premier trios and recognized both nationally and internationally.
Another band featured at the festival included The Stable Roots, a band whom prides themselves on versatility in their music and has toured all over the world. They opened with a variety of famous international artists.
The Hampton Reggae Festival also featured many local bands, such as Willpower, a multi-talented instrumentalist and vocalist born in Hampton, VA and raised in Newport News, VA. Willpower has worked with a variety of musical greats within the Reggae scene and beyond.
The festival featured almost fifty bands, so no matter what one’s musical taste is, there was certainly some music there for anyone to enjoy. Old Dominion student, Amber Ward commented, “I really enjoyed attending Hampton Coliseum’s Reggae Festival, it was a worthwhile experience, and at only $15 a ticket, you really got your money’s worth. With all of the wonderful reggae bands, hoop performances, and even fire dancing, there was sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.”
Along with the reggae bands performing, other unique performances also occurred during the festival. The Astral hoop dancers was one of these performances, as they provided a fire and light LED hula hoop show along with juggling and fire eating.
“The Astral Rhythm dancers were one of my favorite performances during the festival, I was amazed at the performers being able to choreographically dance with a hula hoop completely lit on fire, along with juggling, and all of the other amazing performing acts the dancers did. I was completely amazed,” commented ODU student, Kelsey Ward.
This will be the one and only Hampton Reggae festival hosted by the Hampton Coliseum. But, with an extensive turn out, local reggae fans will hopefully be able to experience this festival again one day.