Founded by Buju Banton's manager Joseph "Joey Budafuco" Louis and New York City’s Hot 97 DJ Jabba, the festival will take place at its original home of Bayfront Park this year after being moved inside last year due to bad weather. The organizers are expecting an enthusiastic crowd to descend upon the city for this massive event.
Budafuco says there isn't much of a reggae scene in South Florida, so Best of the Best is the main attraction for reggae-heads. "You’ll come across a reggae event possibly once a month or once every quarter of the year," he surmises. The Brooklyn-born promoter moved to Miami for college and found success in events when he launched a South Beach reggae party in 1996 with partner RIP Daddy Saw. Known as Rockers Island, the event went down at South Beach's iconic hot spot Amnesia, now known as Story Nightclub. Before launching Best of the Best with Jabba, Budafuco also hosted another party, Madhouse, on Virginia Key.
"What we have done as a festival in the past 12 years is to position South Florida as a destination for reggae fans all over the world to participate in a stellar Caribbean festival," he explains. "The locals' support gets energized when the participation of our huge international audience arrives to South Florida."
Get ready for an extended lineup that includes not only Shabba and Super Cat but also Alkaline, Jahmiel, Stylo G, Bushman, Vanessa Bling, and many others, because, as Jabba says on the fest's website: "We got to keep reggae music alive."
Best of the Best Concert. 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets cost $50 to $399 via bestofthebestconcert.com. Children under 12 get in free with an adult.