Born in the wake of a Toots and the Maytals performance that didn't happen, the Miami Reggae Festival will celebrate its fourth edition on Saturday, November 23, at Coconut Grove's Peacock Park.
The daylong event, as reggae fest founder Alfonso D'Niscio Brooks tells it, was launched after the police shut down the 2010 Bayside Rocks concert.
"Our time management was not on point that day, and we didn't have enough time for Toots' set," remembers Brooks, who promised the disappointed 7,000-strong audience: "We'll be back, I said, to give them a free show to make up for our mishap and their loyalty.
"So there came the birth of Miami Reggae Festival."
With a lineup that includes Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Tiken Jah Fakoly, and Cultura Profética set in an outdoor venue that will feature seminars, yoga workshops, arts, cuisine, and even a bounce house for the kids, the Miami Reggae Festival strives to have something for everyone.
Miami Reggae Festival 2013 Lineup
-Stephen "Ragga" Marley
-Tiken Jah Fakoly
Besides this year's concert featuring acts as internationally diverse as the U.K.'s Black Slate, Brazil's Natiruts, and Chile's Gondwana, the festival aspires to serve a purpose beyond mere entertainment. They hope to also raise awareness of extreme hunger and poverty. This goal will not be achieved merely with positive vibrations but also by encouraging generosity. People who arrive before 3 p.m. and bring two nonperishable food items receive free admission to an event that otherwise charges $45.
"It will be Thanksgiving the Thursday after the festival," reminds Brooks. "We would love to have two trailers filled with food to go out to Overtown and Liberty City to distribute and another to stay in the Grove."
-- David Rolland
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Miami Reggae Festival. With Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Tiken Jah Fakoly, and others. Saturday, November 23. Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove. Tickets cost $45 to 75, but admission is free before 3 p.m. with two nonperishable food items. Visit rockersmovement.com.