Keepin' Tings Irie
From the '70s until 1999, Reggae Sunsplash was the premier Jamaican reggae festival. Hotels filled up quick on the northern part of the island, camping out on beaches became the norm, and everyone got in touch with their inner Rasta. Yet for the past five years, there has been no dub, no dancehall, no Sunsplash, no nothing. But this year, Kenny Benjamin, one of Jamaica's most prominent businessmen, and Wayne Sinclair, managing director of Event Partners 2006, have resurrected the Jah-lovin' juggernaut, much to the chagrin of the original organizers. "What? You want to have a reggae festival? In Jamaica?!?" Madness.
The haters can go suck their dreadlocks. And what's better, the festival is hitting the road, descending upon the (un)fair city of Irvine—a town known for its deep commitment to reggae culture—in early September. For those who can't help falling in love with red, red wine, there's UB40; Toots and the Maytals better play "Monkey Man"; we can only hope Shaggy turns up to support Maxi Priest; and the smart money says you'll see a Marley or two. As for the rest of the lineup, well, you'll enjoy it. As clouds of smoke drift down from the lawn section, the contact high will ensure it.
Reggae Sunsplash 2006 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (714) 740-2000. Sat., 6 p.m. $15-$45.
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