Rudebwoy Entertainment presents the 5th annual Island Reggae Festival held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road in San Jose, California. The event offerings in 2016 include activities on three stages with live music on the Main stage, the Oasis stage will host a DJ sound clash and the third stage will feature the Polynesian Dance Showcase. The event also features carnival rides for children, the USO Car Club Showcase, a youth Rugby tournament and a Tattoo Showcase. The gates open at 10 am and the event concludes at 11pm.
Artists on the lineup for Island Reggae Festival consistently include some of the PacificIslands’ greatest talents and those that have been embraced by the culture. In 2016 the lineup includes the Common Kings who will perform the closing set at Island Reggae Festival2016. A band with cultural roots in the South Pacific and based currently in Costa Mesa, California, they tour the world and rule the airwaves with their high energy island stylereggae flavored by R&B style vocals and polished production.
Coming from Jamaica is Tarrus Riley, an artist who rose to the top of the reggae charts with his conscious lyrics and strong hooks that uplift the culture. He’s released six albums and appeared on many of the world’s most prestigious festival stages with his band Blak Soil. Most recently, he reached the Billboard top 100 and “charts worldwide with his song Powerful” a duet with UK artist Ellie Goulding that was produced by Major Lazer.
Female singer-songwriter Anuhea returns to the festival in 2016, born and raised on Maui in Hawaii, although she is of Caucasian descent she has ruled the live music scene and radio waves for the past several years with her own brand of pop influenced hits sung over reggaerhythms. Sammy J from New Zealand returns to Island Reggae Festival 2016 with his sweet vocals influenced by R&B and reggae.
Pacific Island reggae music receives a great deal of attention both at traditional broadcast radio and online as those that have moved from their birthplace or those that represent the next generation maintain a strong cultural connection through music. Some of the most well-loved artists in the genre today will be at Island Reggae Festival including Tenelle, Pati, Jordan T, Mango Kingz, Makisi & Fina Love.
After presenting the festival for the first 3 years at Great America, in 2015 the organizers began hosting the event at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds a venue that allows for expanded space for an all-ages event that the entire family can enjoy and one that provides an appropriate concert setting to attract music lovers from varied backgrounds. As event organizer Danny Perez notes, “In 2015 what stood out were the various ethnicities that were in attendance. We are predominantly a Pacific Island crowd and to see to our demographic expand to include many different groups is great. I’ve envisioned the Island Reggae Festivalas an event that we as Polynesians can call our own but also as an avenue to expose ourisland culture and music to others.”
A family-friendly event, this year there will be free carnival rides and games for ages 13 and under. The event will feature over thirty merchandise and food vendors with Polynesian food as well as some of the best in festival food favorites.
Returning in 2016 is the Youth Rugby 7’s Tournament. Rugby is a popular sport in the South Pacific Islands. This year the tournament will invite youths from the ages 8 to 14 known as U8-U14 to participate. The tournament will take place from 8am to 3pm and the winners of each age group will be announced on the main stage and receive a hand-crafted Island ReggaeFestival plaque inscribed with their team name.
The USO Car Club will host the USO Car Club Showcase. For the past 10 years this group has been led by CEO Kita Leao. Mr. Leao is of Samoan descent and has instilled elements of the Samoan culture with his car club members. The meaning of the word USO is “brother” in the Samoan language and this is the shared sentiment between all of the car club members. Cars will be showcased as a reminder to the Polynesian youth that hard work and dedication can result in a car that is ready to be presented in a showcase. The Car Club Showcase is an opportunity to spotlight the lifestyle and interests of Polynesians in the United States.
The Polynesian dance showcase and competition will present dance groups and styles from various islands in the South Pacific including Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji and New Zealand. Groups will come from Southern California, the Central Valley and Northern California as well as local groups from within the Bay Area. Dance groups will be presented with a hand-crafted Island Reggae Festival 2016 plaque and with the opportunity to dance on the festival’s main stage for the group with the winning dance performance.
The Tattoo Showcase will be featuring some of the most popular Polynesian Tattoo artists who will be tattooing live at the festival and giving tutorials on traditional Polynesian tattoo patterns and what their symbols and origins derive from.
The 5th Annual Island Reggae Festival will also include a Diabetes Awareness initiative and the Red Cross will be on hand as part of a blood drive. As to how these community-health oriented aspects of the festival come into play Danny Perez explains, “This festival is a platform we created to celebrate our Pacific Islander culture through music and dance. We are also bringing awareness as to the diabetes epidemic our people face.”
Tickets are available on line through the Island Reggae Festival website islandreggaefest.com or at 24 regional ticket outlets in the Peninsula Area, San Francisco, North, East and South Bay, Sacramento, Stockton and Monterey areas.