“Un-Block The Music” remembers the first time Reggae was on Top 40 radio, or at the least the first time I heard it. It was the song, “Roxanne” by the Police. I was instantly in love. Rock music was king at the time, with punk on the rise in the U.S., but I was curious. I found Bob Marley and Yellowman. I don’t really remember any real mainstream Reggae concerts though until UB40, a band that pulled in diverse music fans. If only there was Label 27’s “Reggae on the Mountain”. What’s that? It’s a festival in California celebrating its 10th year on August 17th and 18th. This year the Festival will expand to the Malibu-Calabasas King Gillette Ranch.
One of the event’s co-creators, Amit Gilad, spoke to“ Un-Block The Music” about how “Reggae On The Mountain” came to be. Way back when, in high school, Amit and Brooks Ellis started up a band called The Chiefs. As part of a band, they would throw big backyard parties and charge admission. Eventually, “we got involved with the non-profit organization, Topanga Community Club which had been producing a festival since 1973. We played there and eventually approached them about creating our own festival. We wanted to create an inclusive event that would attract different people from different walks of life and sent a positive message.” Amit and Brooks were only 18 years old! The first festival attracted 500 people! And, it has grown every year since.
This year at the larger venue, there will be extended hours, camping, a yoga stage and a Wellness Village.
However, the number one draw to the event are the artists: Here is the lineup:
Steel Pulse, Julian Marley, Pato Banton, Anuhea, Arise Roots, Quinto Sol, Ital Vibes, Better Chemistry, Dread Kennedy, Strange Brew, The Originators, Irie Nature
Matisyahu, Third World, Hirie, Mike Love, Gondwana, Makua Rothman, Cisco Adler Pachamama, Synrgy, Boostive, Prime Livity, Mestizo Beat, Yesai
Amit jokes that he and Brooks started this journey when they were dumb enough to think they could start up a festival. “We learned as we went. What people love about the event is that it is homegrown and authentic. While a lot of festivals attract one demographic, this festival draws from all regions of L.A.” This year, between 2500 and 3000 people are expected to attend, and this spot gives them room to grow even more.
For more information, go to https://www.reggaeonthemountain.com/
For tickets, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/10th-annual-reggae-on-the-mountain-tickets-60542980685. A portion of the proceeds will go to Woolsey Fire victims. The Boys and Girl Club of Malibu are a part of the festivities, as well.