1. Garance Reggae Festival (Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France, July 24-27)
Photo: House of Reggae
The most intriguing lineup of any reggae fest this year, arguably, belongs to the Garance Reggae Festival in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, an ancient Roman town near Marseiiles in the South of France. The lineup runs the gamut from ska pioneers to rising stars, with Sizzla, Busy Signal, Konshens, Ini Kamoze, Ky-mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Anthony B, Romain Virgo, Cornel Campbell, Don Carlos, John Holt, Everton Blender, Lloyd Parks, Stranger Cole and the Tamlins all set to take the stage. Sounds on the lineup include Jah Shaka and Channel One, plus a clash between Killamanjaro vs. Soul Stereo.
But it’s these three pairings that have us dialing up Air France looking for a flight: Mykal Rose with Sly and Robbie; Inner Circle’s Jacob Miller tribute with Addis Pablo; and a King Jammy’s Live Set with Johnny Osbourne. At €99 for a four-day pass, the price for all this ain’t bad, either.