Reggae on Routes 66 Music Festival, located in Victorville, Calif. (outside of San Bernardino), held its second annual festival from September 27-29.
On the first day of the festival, everyone arrived to set up their campsites in preparation for the reggaetastic music and arts festival. The evening began with a band called Elihu from Bakersfield. Their sound consisted of a little roots reggae mixed with some pop/hip-hop vibes.
Next was Skunkdub from Riverside, Calif., with lead singer Juan Canales. He added very strong Hawaiian vibes to his singing and music. The last two acts of the festival were Inna Vision and Dan Kelly (of Fortunate Youth). Koa Lopes, also known as Inna Vision, is an independent artist coming all the way from the island of Maui, Hawaii to bring his native music.
Lopes’ set was pretty mellow. He used a looper pedal to add some beatbox style drums behind his guitar playing. Overall, it was a great performance.
Last to go on was Dan Kelly, the front man of Fortunate Youth. Kelly headlined the first night as a solo act, and gave a teaser of what Saturday night would be like. He then headlined with his whole band on the next night.
The second day kicked off with three different stages: The Camping Stage, The Side Stage and The Main Stage.
The music started around 10 a.m. on the Camping Stage with Brian Johnson. He set the mood for the rest of the day with his acoustic act.
At about 12 p.m., the main area finally opened where all the food and art vendors gathered. A booth, “Connecting People Through Reggae,” was created by a reggae enthusiast named Chris Parkhurst.
“I am just someone who likes seeing positive interaction among those who may not usually go out of their way to interact,” Parkhurst said. “The frame helps encourage that. When I hear stories about how people met and why they wanted to take a picture with our frame, the excitement in their eyes is real. When speaking to those purchasing our mirrors and scarves that are handmade by my family, I tell them the positive energy put into making them is real. Creating real moments with real people is what happens at the Connecting People Through Reggae booth”
SGV Vibes, a six piece band from San Gabriel Valley, started on the side stage.
The first act on the main stage was The Steppas, a band coming all the way from Hawaii, whose message was about being true to yourself and sharing love and unity. There were other bands hitting all three stages throughout the rest of the day.
Finally it was time for the headliner, Fortunate Youth. They brought out many different guests, including Dread Kennedy (Ital Vibes), Chris Gonzales (Twenty Dollar Profits), and Sammy Dread (Lakedub Music).
After they were done, the music didn’t stop. Back at the campsite there was a spontaneous late night jam session with Dead Kennedy, Kaya Hall (Sensitrails), and Andrew Rodriguez (Spliff Vision).
“This is what it’s all about,” said Gary Carrafield, creator of the festival.
The third day stated with Lake Dub on the camping stage, a reggae and dub band from Lakewood, Calif. (located just outside of Los Angeles). Lead singer Sammy Dread gave a special show with his band’s energetic dub style reggae.
The people in the camping area acted as a family hanging out, cooking food, and playing games. There were two people that stood out the most; Liam Robertson and Glen Holdaway. There were a couple of horn players playing with a few different bands throughout the three days.
Sensitrails hit the side stage, and had a very energetic presence. They had a pretty big crowd that cheered for their music and performance. E.N. Young, Pato Banton, Nattali Rize and Eli Mac hit the main stage. The headliner of the night was a band named Longbeach Dub Allstars, with lead singer Roger Rivas, drummer Marshall Goodman, guitarist Jack Maness and bass player Michael Happoldt.
After they finished, the night was slowly ending. This year’s Roots On 66 Music Festival was a relative success for all reggae bands and reggae lovers.