Category: Press Releases
Riddim West Kicks off the Summer Music Festival Season
ReggaeFest Goes to University!
Calgary, Alberta – June 4, 2019
This weekend the re-imagined and re-branded Calgary ReggaeFest is set for MacEwan Hall in the heart of the University of Calgary. Riddim West, as the event is now known, will feature giant reggae hitters from Jamaica — Luciano, Cham and Hawkeye — with a supporting cast of exciting Canadian acts including Delhi 2 Dublin, Lynn Olagundoye and Phonosonics.
Riddim West is the culmination of ReggaeFest activities and runs from 3PM – 11PM on Saturday, June 8 at Mac Hall, followed by an after party in The Den featuring Dancehall legend Hawkeye along with Calgary’s own DJ Sherman Hype.
“It’s the same exciting family-friendly festival moved indoors,” says festival producer Leo Cripps. “The difference is that this is a more intimate and controlled setting where the audience can be up close and personal with the performers. By saving on production costs, we are able to redirect funds to bring in bigger names. Cham’s profile includes recordings with Rhianna, Eve and Alicia Keys, while Luciano’s travels have taken him all over including performances with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” Cripps continues.
Other acts on the show include Calgary’s Jory Kinjo and Edmonton’s Waymatea and the Highlife Sound Collective, which is a supergroup of some of Edmonton’s best reggae and soca acts.
Riddim West will feature kids’ activities, a marketplace, a food truck serving up some tasty Caribbean delights and a beer garden with Village Beer to quench your thirst.
Can’t wait for Saturday to get your dose of Reggae? We’ve got you covered!
The Canadian premier of Babylon is at the Plaza Theatre on Thursday, June 6 where we are delighted to have one of the films financial backers who will talk a bit about the film and introduce it to Calgarians. Admission is $10.
Riddim West launch party takes place on Friday, June 7 at The Den, where you can meet and greet this years performers. Selfies anyone?! Admission is free.
Points to note:
Advance Tickets for Riddim West can be purchased online at https://riddimwest2019.eventbrite.ca or at the pre-events on June 6 & 7.
MacEwan Hall is located in the heart of the University of Calgary campus. Campus is easily accessed by Calgary Transit – bus or LRT (University Station on the Red Line). There are plenty of places to lock up your bicycles and for those that choose to drive there are over 3,000 parking spots within walking distance of the Mac Hall.
Riddim West – June 8, 2019
Re-imagined and re-branded — ReggaeFest returns with Riddim West!
After a year off, Calgary ReggaeFest is back on a new date, in a new venue and with a new name.
On June 8, 2019, ReggaeFest presents Riddim West at MacEwan Hall in the heart of the University of Calgary campus.
“The past year was used to assess and re-imagine the festival and determine what direction was best for its longevity,” says producer Leo Cripps. “We reviewed every element that would be beneficial to the event and moved forward to implement the new direction. We promised a different festival and that is what we will be delivering,” Cripps continued.
The festival will run over 3 days (June 6-8), with smaller events June 6 and 7, culminating with Riddim West on Saturday, June 8.
ReggaeFest continues its mission to present the best in local, national and international acts and the 2019 headliners feature Reggae messenger Luciano and dancehall champion Cham (aka Baby Cham) from Jamaica. Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin, Victoria’s Phonosonics, and Calgary’s own Lynn Olagundoye and Jory Kinjo will complete the line up.
The 2019 ReggaeFest After Party will feature Jamaica’s dancehall master Hawkeye with Calgary’s DJ Sherman Hype.
Early bird tickets for Riddim West go on sale March 8 at just $30 for a limited time. https://riddimwest2019.eventbrite.ca
Helpful Hints to Make the Most of ReggaeFest
Calgary, Alberta – August 14, 2017
It’s officially ReggaeFest week! Rastagarians, are you ready?!
Kicking things off! Everything starts on Thursday, August 17 at 7:00 pm at the King Eddy (438 – 9 Avenue SE) as we celebrate 150 years of Canada uniting cultures with ‘The Golden Era of Canadian Reggae’ – a musical lecture by Dr. Jason Wilson. Pssst….it’s FREE!
Still need tickets? Get them in advance and save! Available online or at any of the locations listed below. And don’t forget, all tickets purchased give you entrance for the WHOLE weekend!
Caribbean Choice Foods – 2235 Centre Street N
Cornerstone Music Café – 139, 14919 Deer Ridge Drive SE
Heritage Posters and Music – 1316 – 11 Avenue SW
Joycee’s Caribbean Foods – 630 – 1 Avenue NE
Mayfair Foods – 4019 – 17 Avenue SE
Quench that Thirst! The H2O Water Buggy will be on site Friday and Saturday. Please bring your own refillable water bottle and fill up as needed at the water station. You’ll need to stay hydrated as the current forecast is calling for temperatures in the 20’s!!
Hungry? We’ve got that covered. Check out any (or all!) of our food vendors. Throughout the park you’ll find everything from paninis to fried chicken to sweet treats, and of course a variety of Caribbean dishes. Vegan? We’ve got that too!
Keep Joining the Conversation – #rfyyc17 and #rastagarian – We heart Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. If Snapchat is your social media of choice, make sure to try out our geofilter while you’re at the park enjoying the vibes.
Gates Open – Friday 4:00 pm – 10:30 pm, Saturday 12:00 noon – 10:30 pm
So Much Talent! If you want the lowdown on your favorite artiste prior to the fest, you can check out the Performer page on our website. Need to know when they are hitting the stage? Get the 411 on the Festival Info page.
Remember to Bring – Cash (for that awesome item you can’t resist from one of the many merchandise vendors), ID, sun protection (glasses, lotion, hat, umbrella), refillable water bottle, folding festival chairs and/or a blanket, hand sanitizer (port-a-potties are a must for festivals…), a positive attitude and your dancing shoes – ’cause who can resist moving to that sweet Reggae beat!
Fun for the Whole Family – All ReggaeFest events this year are open to all ages so come out and enjoy the whole weekend as a family. We’ll also have the Kidz Zone set up on Saturday from 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm with a variety of activities to entertain the young Rastagarians.
Where to Park – or may we suggest you ride your bike or take the train! Parking is limited around Shaw Millennium Park; please follow the parking regulations to avoid disappointment after a great ReggaeFest experience. The LRT runs right by the ReggaeFest site – the nearest stop is DT West / Kerby. A Bike Lock Up is available at the main entrance for those who would like to pedal their way to the festival.
We would like to send out a HUGE thank you to our Partners and Funders! ReggaeFest would not be seeing 14 years without their amazing support!
98-5 VIRGIN Radio, Alberta Foundation For The Arts, Alberta Lottery Fund, Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and J. Wray, Calgary Arts Development Authority, Canadian Heritage, City of Calgary, CJAY 92, CJSW Radio 90.9 fm, CKUA Radio Network, Culligan Water, Exclaim! Media, Feature Productions, Funny 1060, Global Calgary, Green Event Services, Hotel Arts, MacCon Public Safety, Passport Health, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, The Calgary Sun, Travel Alberta, Village Brewery
See y’all at the fest!
The Golden Era of Canadian Reggae Music
Calgary, Alberta – August 7, 2017
For decades the essence of Reggae music has intricately weaved its way into everyday Canadian living. From the earliest days of the first Caribbean migrants until now, Reggae Music has had an influential impact on the cultural mosaic of Canada. From the earliest musing of artistes such as Bruce Cockburn to today’s Magic!, Drake and Justin Bieber, the impact of the deep roots of Reggae Music can be witnessed across the Canadian landscape.
It was these conditions that saw 14 year old Scottish Canadian Jason Wilson playing keyboard in Canada’s first major label Reggae band, Messenjah.
Thirty-plus years later, Dr. Jason Wilson has completed his doctoral thesis on the impact of Reggae Music within the Canadian diaspora, “King Alpha’s Song in a Strange Land”.
Prior to the release of his thesis in book format, Dr. Wilson, with the backing of Mad Riddim band from Vancouver, will take Rastagarians on a live musical journey through “The Golden Era of Canadian Reggae Music” from the early 1970s to 1990s and beyond.
“Yes my background is a proud Scot,” says Jason, “but all the people I grew up with were West Indians. Reggae is in my blood; it’s what I know.”
There’s no one more excited than ReggaeFest producer Leo Cripps about this event. “I am absolutely stoked for this event! It will definitely open many eyes on the importance of Reggae Music and how much impact it has had in shaping the artistic landscape of our country.”
Celebrating 150 years of Canada uniting cultures, “The Golden Era of Canadian Reggae Music” is the kick-off event to the 14th annual Calgary International Reggae Festival and takes place August 17 at the iconic King Eddy Hotel at Studio Bell, the National Music Centre. The event is all ages and free to the public.
Calgary ReggaeFest Announces 2017 Artiste Lineup
Calgary, Alberta – May 15, 2017
“Reggae became like a dirty word.” – Leo Cripps, interview with MetroNews, 2015
Between the canceled shows and half-promises, Calgary’s reggae scene was dying. The community, while tight-knit, stood shaken, unsure of it’s future. Everything was all but ready to give one last breath, if not for a lingering heartbeat shared by a kindled few.
And one by one it’s rhythm nodded our heads, and its pulse shook us until we danced, and together we heard it sing. Over a decade has passed since we first shared that heartbeat. Frankly, it’s getting stronger and stronger every year.
On behalf of the Calgary Reggae Festival Society, we are proud to announce the 14th annual Calgary International Reggae Festival!
As one of Calgary’s longest running festivals, ReggaeFest ’17 will unite some of reggae’s most exciting talent, both locally and around the world on one amazing stage this August 17th-19th at Shaw Millennium Park.
Taking the stage this year is The Strong One herself, Etana. Joining her is Mexican reggae pioneers Antidoping, JUNO Award Nominees Lyndon John X and Kirk Diamond, groove machine Vancouverites Mad Riddim with Jason Wilson (who will also be hosting a musical talk!), melodic infused storyteller Pressure Busspipe, dancehall deejay and spiritual successor to King Yellowman Al-Beeno, the original Mr. Gangalee himself Louie Culture, Torontonian empress Natural Fyah, Belize transplant and multi-genre artist Oral Fuentes, multi-dimensional captivator Steele, Ewarton native and breezy voiced Lenya Wilks, hometown heroes Aktivate, as well as the energetic dance inducers PowerHouze Band. Finally, backing our amazing artistes is the just as amazing band Hardcore!
Last year we invited a newcomer family from Syria to ReggaeFest. We were so happy to welcome them to Canadian culture, we’ve decided to invite another family this year!
New this year ReggaeFest ’17 passes grant access to the entire weekend, meaning you get to be there for the full experience! Limited Early Bird Passes are available until June 15.
Stay connected with us via Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, ReggaeFest.ca. You can also follow our hashtag #ReggaeBest2017
Calgary Reggae Festival Society
Your Rastagarian Team!
Calgary ReggaeFest: Bringing Cultures Together Under the Reggae Banner
Calgary, Alberta – August 8, 2016
This summer the Calgary International Reggae Festival (ReggaeFest) will be inviting some newcomers to Calgary to celebrate the sounds and cultures of Reggae together. The festival kicks off August 18 at noon at Olympic Plaza with a free noon hour concert followed by a free evening workshop and documentary movie screening in the community of Deer Ridge.
Under the banner of ‘Uniting Cultures through Reggae Music’, the annual festival is offering complimentary passes to new Calgary families and some financially challenged families who may want to join in the celebration.
“Initially, we were discussing tickets to just refugee families, to try to help integrate them into the fabric of our city’s mosaic, but we understand we’re also in a tough economy, and still have many new families moving to our city,” says ReggaeFest producer Leo Cripps. “What better way to help out and show Calgary’s spirit of giving than to invite them to come and enjoy some of the city’s festivities,” Cripps continues.
The festival will be sponsoring up to 50 families to the paid event on August 19 and 20 at Shaw Millennium Park.
Last year ReggaeFest suffered a major financial set back due to bad weather and was in major doubt if there would be a festival this year. Through the generosity of its supporters, the festival is set to present an incredible line up of performers. On August 19 and 20 Shaw Millennium Park will come alive with Reggae sounds from across Canada, Colombia, Ghana, the United States and Jamaica
“We are excited to share our event with people who are new to the city,” says ReggaeFest VP, Tara Andrews. “We have already offered tickets through several cultural communities and will be offering more through several local charities and cultural organizations.”
ReggaeFest is a not-for-profit society celebrating its 13th year and is supported by all three levels of government.
For tickets, more information and interviews and please visit www.ReggaeFest.ca or email email@example.com.
ReggaeFest 2016: Uniting Cultures Through Reggae Music
Calgary, Alberta – May 14, 2016
Today the Calgary International Reggae Festival (ReggaeFest) announced the line up for the 2016 festival taking place August 18 – 20. Leading this amazing collection of Reggae stalwarts is the legendary Glen Washington and the newest dancehall craze in Jamaica Razor B.
“Glen has been one of those artistes we’ve been courting for several years but has always eluded us with his busy schedule,” says ReggaeFest producer Leo Cripps. “We were quite excited when his management decided he could make it this year.” Cripps continued, “But imagine my excitement when I realized the current hottest dancehall track in Jamaica is by a Canadian; we had to bring Razor B back home.”
Of course ReggaeFest is not just about one or two performers so organizers have selected an amazing array of other stars for the event. From out of Jamaica come the ever-conscious Rootz Warrior, Warrior King and Anthony Cruz. Both artistes are incredibly talented and will mesmerize Calgarians with their performances.
Appearing for the first time ever in Canada will be the Medallin dons, Colombian Reggae sensation, De Bruces a Mi. Together with Calgary’s own Uno Band, whose members hail from Venezuela, Latin Reggae will definitely be represented.
Representing the motherland is the Dancehall Rambo from Ghana, Mr. Fantastik who now makes Vancouver his home and to complete the line up and promote great Canadian talent, ReggaeFest will showcase the sultry voice of Nana McLean, the Dennis Brown revue by Chester Miller, ‘Festival King’ and 2016 Juno award winner Kafinal, Tasman Jude, The Human Rights, Melloman, Aktivate, the Lost Lemons, Dubwise, Roca Roots Family and Hardcore.
ReggaeFest runs from August 18- 20 with performances in various downtown locations and at Shaw Millennium Park.
Rastagarians unite! It’s Reggae Week!
Calgary, Alberta – This weekend, August 14-15, Reggae legends and rising stars from Canada and the world will descend on Shaw Millennium Park for Western Canada’s premiere reggae music festival. The Calgary International Reggae Festival celebrates its twelfth year with a weekend of music, food and culture.
The Calgary International ReggaeFest presents another talent rich lineup for this year’s festival. European Reggae Music star Ziggi Recado, legendary Reggae veteran Tinga Stewart, Nigerian-Canadian vocalist Omolara and many more will play the main stage on Saturday, August 15.
On Friday, August 14 Rastagarians will get a sample of what ReggaeFest has to offer with a night of high-energy performances at Shaw Millennium Park from Canadian pop-ska heavyweights, The Steadies, international rising star Nattali Rize, and Montreal’s Auresia. Entrance is $10 at the gate or free with a ticket for Saturday’s show. Performances begin at 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
Come soak up the sun and cool off with some ice cold drinks in our Village Brewery patio.
ReggaeFest kicks off this Thursday, August 13 with two Reggae-related events:
Reggae Downtown from 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm: on Stephen Avenue Walk there will be a lunchtime performance by Jory Kinjo at the Stephen Avenue Stage.
Reggae Workshop Presentation and Movie from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: visit Cardel Theatre for a multi-media presentation on Rasta and Reggae: The Global Impact AND a movie Roaring Lion: The Rise of Rastafari. Admission is free with a donation to the Food Bank.
For tickets to the main event visit Eventbrite or buy them at Heritage Posters and Music (1502 – 11 Avenue SW).
For more information and interviews please contact:
President Calgary Reggae Festival Society
Producer Calgary International Reggae Festival
Phone (403) 355-5696
2015 Calgary International Reggae Festival lineup announcement
Calgary, Alberta – The Calgary International Reggae Festival is proud to present another talent rich lineup for this year’s festival, taking place August 14-15 at Shaw Millennium Park. ReggaeFest 2015 welcomes Dutch Reggae music star Ziggi Recado, legendary Jamaican Reggae veteran Tinga Stewart, and Nigerian-Canadian vocalist Omolara Oyesiku to the main stage on Saturday August 15. Saturday’s line up will also feature the multi-talented Calgary singer-songwriter Jory Kinjo, St. Lucian Taj Weekes, Canadian Reggae legend Jay Douglas, Montreal’s Kaisha Lee and more.
On Friday, August 14 Rastagarians will experience a night of high-energy performances from Australia’s Nattali Rize and Notis, Canadian pop-ska heavyweights The Steadies, Calgary’s Bloom, Montreal’s Auresia and Cameroon’s FLO.
‘We’re absolutely astounded by this line up,” says ReggaeFest Producer Leo Cripps. “We spend a lot of time deciding who should perform on our show and this year we know our audience will be blown away by these performers we have selected.”
ReggaeFest 2015 performers will be showcased on CJSW 90.9 FM (www.cjsw.com ) on Saturday, May 16 between 5 and 6 pm MDT.
Advance tickets for ReggaeFest 2015 will be available online at www.ReggaeFest.ca May 15, 2015. All advance ticket purchases will give access to both days. Friday night only admission will be $10 at the gate.
This year ReggaeFest is greening up its act and doing its part to divert waste away from landfills. ReggaeFest will now be a Styrofoam-free event. ReggaeFest’s Green Team, with the help of the City of Calgary Waste and Recycling, has developed a solid educational plan and will be on hand to encourage Rastagarians to recycle and compost and spread awareness about waste reduction.
“These are times in which the environment and climate are suffering and many species are disappearing under the ignorant human footprint. As an organization that promotes peace and love through Reggae music, let’s love and be in peace with nature and do our best to protect it by keeping it clean,” says ReggaeFest Green Team Coordinator Josh Taylor.
“We’ve always encouraged people to walk, ride their bikes, or take public transit to the festival. This is just another way we can reduce our footprint and be a good citizen,” said Taylor.
For more information on this year’s lineup, events, and tickets visit the brand new www.ReggaeFest.ca.
The Calgary Reggae Festival Society (CRFS) was formed in 2003 with the mission to promote local, regional, and national awareness of Reggae music in Canada and to provide an avenue and stage where this music can be heard. Twelve years later, ReggaeFest is regarded as Western Canada’s premiere Reggae Music Festival.
Calgary International Reggae Festival Week Begins
On Friday August 15, join us from 4-9PM at Shaw Millennium Park for Free Fest Friday, a free concert featuring six-time Canadian Reggae Music Award winners Mountain Edge Roots and Culture Band, Calgary natives Infiniti and Uno Band, and, fresh off their European tour, Raging Fyah.
On Saturday August 16, ReggaeFest presents none other than the internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated band, Third World. Joining Third World on the ReggaeFest stage will be a host of international and Canadian performers including supergroup L.U.S.T., Canadian superstar Exco Levi, and joining us all the way from Beijing, China, the incomparable Long Shen Dao.
The Calgary International Reggae Festival prides itself on being more than a music festival. ReggaeFest is about celebrating culture, friendship and community. Good music, good food and good vibes are what bring Rastagarians of all ages together each year on the third weekend August.
Transcending all racial, cultural and musical boundaries, ReggaeFest runs from August 14 to 16 concluding with the Mainstage event on Saturday, August 16 at Shaw Millennium Park.
In October of 2003, six Calgarians came together with the same vision – to increase the awareness of Reggae Music in Western Canada and to provide an avenue where this music can be heard. The Calgary Reggae Festival Society (CRFS) was formed. CRFS is set on a mission to promote local, regional and national awareness of Reggae Music in Canada and will also strive to lobby mainstream media to give the music more airplay. 10 years later the Calgary International Reggae Festival is one of the largest reggae music festivals outside of southern Ontario.
Join the Rastagarian movement at www.Facebook.com/CalgaryReggaeFest
Winner of the 2010 Canadian Reggae Music Achievement Award for Best Concert Promoter, the CRFS is a 100% volunteer group that is diligently working to ensure that ReggaeFest is the best family friendly summer festival in Calgary.
For More Information Please Contact:
Calgary Reggae Festival Society
T: (403) 355-5696