The California Roots Festival is one of the biggest gatherings in California and it’s in our own backyard of Monterey. More commonly referred to as Cali Roots. This festival brought in around thirteen thousand people in 2019 and they believe that much more will show up this year. Some of the biggest names in music will be performing such as Ice Cube, Sublime, Damian Marley, and Revolution. This is a three-day event that goes from Friday, May 22nd and through Sunday, May 24th.
The first day of Cali Roots starts off at 9:00 am and goes until 10:30 pm. Although there is not a set time when each artist plays, usually the more popular bands play later or in the afternoon. The headliners for Friday are Revolution and Chronixx. Both are very popular in the reggae genre. They will be trading off with the main stage, but there will be many more artists on Friday. This festival is also a great place for smaller artists to get there name out there and try to gain a fan base.
For day two of this music festival, there are less popular reggae artists that perform and it is more of a local vibe, such as Iya Terra and The Green and Collie Buddz which are all from Santa Cruz or the surrounding area. Since many people have traveled long ways from where they live to see this festival, they can’t just drive back whenever they feel like it, so they do allow people who pay for tickets to camp in a designated area of the venue overnight.
On the final day of the California Roots Festival, the most well-known artist, not just in reggae but also in the rap and hip hop world, performs. They were saving the best for last. Ice Cube, who is one of the most well-known rappers in history. You probably know him from groups like “N.W.A.” and songs like “Today was a Good day”. He also has appeared in many movies like Barbershop and Friday with Chris Tucker.
But it’s not just him, also Damian Marley aka Jr. gong. His dad is the man that most people think of when they think of reggae Mr. Bob Marley, who changed the reggae world forever by making it way more popular and showing that you really can come from nothing to having anything you want. Damian Marly is most popularly known for his song “Welcome to Jamrock.” He is Bob Marley’s youngest son but is easily the most famous out of all of them.
The people who run the Cali Roots Festival have also done a really good job in that three bands can be playing at the exact same time but you don’t hear one over the other. Music is the main attraction but there is also great hospitality. They have any kind of food you want: From sushi to nachos and almost anything you want! They have also made sure that the use of plastic is kept to a minimum by giving out free stainless steel beer cups. Which can be used to fill up at any of the water refill stations for free. And the food courts use compostable bowls for their food. Cannabis products are also allowed at the festival and there is a full medic tent to help with any injuries. The California Roots Festival is very welcoming to any age and is a great place for people to just chill and have fun.
By Micah Jewell