Years after being unable to perform in the United States, Rastafarian reggae dancehall recording artiste Sizzla Kalonji is one of the headliners on the 32-year-old Reggae on the River (ROTR), set for California on August 4-7.
Sizzla (whose given name is Miguel Collins) has been facing the wrath of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community for what they deem as inflammatory lyrics against them.
The line-up for this year’s event also includes the Fire House Band, Kranium, Agent Sasco, Anthony B, Protoje and the Indiggnation Band, Yellow Man, Jesse Royal, Sister Carol, Jah9 and the Dub Treatement, No Maddz, Keznamdi, Addis Pablo, and Dubtonic Kru.
Justin Crellin, the festival’s general manager, said the inclusion of a number of the younger reggae acts reflects the age group of festival goers.
“With more than 30 years behind us, we’ve seen multiple generations of festival goers make the ROTR pilgrimage. Some attendees from the early years are still with us to this day, and we are also now seeing a new crop of first-timers each year that are coming for a taste of the ROTR experience — and hopefully becoming return guests year after year. I would say that some of this is due to the younger acts we are hosting, but is also representative of a larger trend of younger folks being a primary festival audience,” he said.
The organisers said with more than three decades under their belt, it gets easier to organise the festival.
“It has been a roller coaster over the years with venue changes. But now that we are in our fourth year back at our original French’s Camp venue, and our crews have settled back into things, I would say it is generally getting easier to organise. Of course, there are other aspects of the business that are more challenging these days like work visas, more festival competition, shifting trends in reggae music,” Crellin told
Sizzla new album #876 is now available on iTunes.
1 Longing For
2 Leave My Ganja Alone
3 Street Life
4 Beautiful Place
5 Show Them the Way
6 Breath of Life
7 Love Me
8 Never Ending Love
9 You Belong to Me (feat. Samira Taylor)
10 Bad Mind (feat. Jah Cure)
11 High Grade
12 Babylon Kingdom Fall
13 Watch Over You