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Concert of the Week: 9 Mile Music Festival

Concert of the Week: 9 Mile Music Festival
Photo by George Martinez

For 24 years, the 9 Mile Music Festival has been the premier reggae event in Miami. Since its inception in 1993, the event, better known by the unofficial title Marley Fest, is a yearly party with the Marley family. It honors their patriarch’s legacy.

It's a legacy that includes the spirit of helping the community, championed by Bob Marley’s mother, Cedella Marley Booker, when she founded the festival. Part of the entry fee to gain admission to the festival is four canned goods. That’s in addition to the cost of the ticket, which this year runs $59.99. The event also pays respect to other things Bob Marley loved: music, peace, and unity.

Oh, and weed. Lots of weed. Like a dizzying amount.

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For years, at least before the Trump administration's announcement of a plan to get tough on pot, 9 Mile has been Miami’s marijuana safe space. For one weekend, we can live like Coloradoans and get as high as the Rocky Mountains without being pestered too much.

Helping celebrate all things Marley on Virginia Key Beach will be the usual robust lineup of reggae and dancehall acts, including Capleton, Mavado, and Sizzla. Also on hand will be headliners DMX and native son Rick Ross. And no Marley Fest would be complete without a visit from the family: Julian Marley is officially slated to perform, but don’t be shocked if his brethren drop by for a visit.

9 Mile Music Festival.
Saturday, March 11 at Historic Virginia Key Beach, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; 305-665-5379; virginiakeybeachpark.net. Tickets cost $59.99 via 9milemusicfestival.com.

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