This weekend, the One Love festival hits the Queen Mary in Long Beach, kicking off the three-day celebration of reggae rock. Since its inaugural event, Goldenvoice has turned One Love Cali Reggae Fest into one of the premier North American reggae / ska events outside of Jamaica. Now in its fourth year, it should come as no surprise that the allure of reggae and ska appeals to the masses from coast-to-coast and around the world. That’s the thing about reggae and ska, not only are they intertwined… it’s a rhythmic expression of humanity no matter what culture you’re from or where you call home.
This year the festival will deliver a lineup stacked with good vibes, positive energy, and a celebration of the reggae and ska culture featuring more than 50 bands performing throughout the weekend that represent the current energy and love for reggae found globally.
The festivities begin tomorrow with Day 1 Rebelution,which has become a staple in the scene for well over a decade. Their fans can’t wait to see the guys from Isla Vista take the stage. Rebelution throws a great blend of reggae and rock that is distinctively uber cool. Coming off the success off their 2018 album, Free Reign, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to Rebelution. Other must-see bands from Night 1 include Stick Figure, Tribal Seeds, The Expendables, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Ballyhoo!, Passafire, The Delirians, and the Jawaiian sound of Pepper as well as a few other great bands.
On Saturday, the festival kicks it up a notch as they get to take in another great California headliner with Slightly Stoopid. Over the years, this San Diego band has turned into one of the best sounding and entertaining bands on the planet. The band describes their music as a fusion of folk, rock, reggae and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal and punk. Put that all together, and it explains the success they have achieved. There last three albums have launched them into another class of kick-ass bands. In addition to the juggernaut of Stoopid, you can catch Dirty Heads on the same night. Coming from Huntington Beach, they formed in 2006, and they’re becoming legends in their own time. If that’s not enough, One Love has other artists that bring it, including SOJA, Matisyahu, Mike Pinto, Pato Banton, Lee Scratch Perry, and Mad Caddies among others to entertain everyone. Last but not least on Night 2, this band may be a spiritual moment for some concertgoers. Just be ready for the punk-funk-ska exploits of Doctor Mad-vibe himself, Angelo Moore and Fishbone. This band alone is worth the price of admission.
The irie vibes come to a peak on Sunday, with the return of Sublime with Rome. In a recent interview, Rome Ramirez told us that he loves playing for the locals, despite those early days were very-very challenging. Back in 2008 when Rome first joined the band, there was some controversy. Rome took in all the comments, good and bad, and despite the vocal nay-sayers…he took it all in stride. The thing about Rome, he just loves music, period. Keep in mind that he was also a big fan of Bradley Nowell, and when he joined the band, he had no intention of attempting to imitate Bradley. His intention was simple, he wanted to give Sublime fans who had not experienced the band live a vehicle to have that experience. Despite all the shots thrown at the band, they remained steadfast. They have played all the songs we all have grown to love, meanwhile; they’ve created new music that stands on its own. Songs like “Panic”, “Wherever You Go”, and “Take It Or Leave It” opened our eyes and gave us new food for our musical souls.
The band’s latest album, Blessings, is adding to the band’s legacy. The latest song hitting the airwaves is “Wicked Heart”, and it’s doing very well on the radio. Rome went on to say that they have a new stage design and light show, and their set will make you smile. It just might turn the venue into the Green Mary. Joining Sublime with Rome in the magic will be other fan favorites Iration, Atmosphere, Katchafire, J Boog, and The Green just to name a few. In the end, there will be a little bit of everything for everybody.
In addition to the insanity of the great music in store, fans can also take to the high seas with nightly after parties on the water with Don Carlos on Friday, Collie Buddz on Saturday, and Fiji on Sunday. Tickets for the festival and the after-show festivities are available at the festival’s website.