Get Up, Stand Up, & Rise Up! Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 unified people together for a full weekend of love, music, and art.
Four years firing up and Florida’s premier, annual reggae festival returns bigger than ever at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park this past St. Patrick’s Day weekend sporting a different strain of green. Welcoming back major national reggae acts like headliners Rebelution, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, & SOJA, who are well familiar with the great sunset vibes of the Tampa Bay Area’s reggae scene, as well as crowd favorites Tribal Seeds, The Expendables, Collie Buddz, J. Boog, Ozomatli, and NAHKO & Medicine for the People. Also rising up to this stacked bill was local reggae bands like Summer Survivors, Resinated, Badda Skat, NoNeed, and Sidereal - all giving the fest a dynamic range of groovy sounds going from classic roots-reggae, reggae-rock, pop-reggae, & of course the always groovy, jewish, beatboxing mastermind Matisyahu. Yet another impressive lineup on top of Florida’s jam packed spring festival season with Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival & Gasparilla Music Festival the past two weekends.
Having expanded to 3 full days, Reggae Rise Up Florida has come a long way since it sparked up in 2014 for it’s inaugural 1 day celebration at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium where Rebelution was set to headline as well. The festival opened up Friday instantly with good vibes and cool, breezy weather by the water where you would find outstanding local visual artists like Sebastian Coolidge, Justin Wagher, Zulu Painter, James Oleson, & more creating vibrantly imaginative murals all weekend long. As over 10,000 reggae ready fans strolled by on their way between the Vibe Stage & main Rise Up Stage, Tribal Seeds brought in Florida’s infamously, captivating “west coast” sunset over the bay’s hued horizon. Accompanied with them on stage live-painting was Christopher Morphis & Ania Amador of Anamorphosis Art; as well as, modern jazz saxophonist, Eric Hirschhorn, who is currently touring with Tribal Seeds, The Green, & Rebelution. Nothing like Roots Reggae Music to get the crowd moving, grooving, & Feelin Alright for day 1’s closing set by Rebelution.
The Expendables fly in across the country from Portland, OR after 40 date self-titled album tour featuring Amplified and play new song
On top of the fully loaded fest, there will be a free Reggae Rise Up Florida Pre-Party at Jannus Live, St. Pete’s main hub for often sold out reggae shows with national talents Oceanstone, Serenation, & Unified Highway (a collaboration between DJ Amp Live & Rebelution’s lead singer/guitarist Eric Rachmany). As well as after parties every night starting at 10pm that weekend at another local favorite venue, The State Theatre, with more good times brought to you by Iya Terra, The Expanders, Nattali Rize, Guerrilla Panic, Jungle Man Sam, & more! .
Coverage by Javier Ortiz (@zitrovision)
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