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Rototom Sunsplash 2011

Rototom Sunsplash 2011

Rototom Sunsplash 2011

By on - Photos by Rototom 2011 - 1 comment

The festival took place in Spain from August 18th to 27th.

Rototom Sunsplash 2011

Rototom Sunsplash is simply one of those festivals that really must be experienced in person, in order to fully understand the magnitude of the event. Europe’s largest reggae festival takes place over the course of ten days, at a massive site with several stages and all kinds of peripheral activity; the range of sights, sounds and activities on offer is staggering, rendering it several cuts above the rest. The festival has been going for 18 years now, and for most of its existence, was based in northeast Italy, in a beautiful park at the foot of the Alps, but following conflict with short-sighted politicians, moved last year to Benicassim, Spain, a gritty seaside town located between Valencia and Barcelona.

Rototom Sunsplash 2011Though the new site is not quite as evocative as the old, it is far larger, allowing for the addition of a number of new venues, the most favoureds of which is the Dub Station, a wonderful dome-like space towards the rear of the place, with a top-notch, high-powered sound system that played host to Jah Observer, Channel One, Adrian Sherwood, Iration Steppers, and many more, with residents Blackboard Jungle on hand to make certain everything went as it should, so the space was packed each night, and the vibe always right. In the dancehall arena, there were also nice sets from Youth Promotion, a truncated Saxon Sound, and Brigadier Jerry (with Lampa Dread of One Love selecting), while the ska stage had plenty of rousing vintage dance music from Natty Bo and Earl Gateshead, as well as London’s Rootikal crew.

Rico Rodriguez made a guest appearance on the small lion stage, but did not always gel with his backing band, while on the main stage, the anniversary of Bob Marley’s passing was heralded by Ziggy, Kymani and Rita Marley, and Linton Kwesi Johnson kept reggae’s political content in focus. There was also the usual antics from Shaggy, Mr Vegas, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica and Capleton, but the icing on the cake came on the last night, when Michael Prophet, Johnny Clarke and Horace Andy delivered blistering sets that were entirely spot-on, backed by the ever-dependable Dub Asante band, with producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee at the side of the stage as guest of honour.

Rototom Sunsplash 2011

If you’re already a Rototom devotee, I look forward to seeing you there in 2012; conversely, if you have not yet discovered this magnanimous festival, you owe it to yourself to make certain to be present at the next.

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Read comments (1)

Posted by Sista Dee on 09.22.2011
Greetings I think its great that we had a European Sunsplash, unfortunately I didn't have the funds to attend as I only heard about it the day b4. I am a musician singer songwriter, you can check our reviews written by el intercambio, and the Gibraltar Chronicle. Many Gibraltarians attended and had a fantastic time.
It is my dream to one day sing at Sunsplash, if you know of a way we can help this happen please contact me. One love & nuff respect from Sista Dee.

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