COVID-19 has changed live music forever, it seems. With more bands announcing postponed or canceled shows around the country, protest concerts are filling the void and bringing live music back to the masses. June 27th, 2020 was a day of peaceful protest in Long Beach in the form of the One Love Peace Protest, a festival-like congregation that hosted 16 reggae bands hailing from Southern California as far as Hawaii. Bands such as LakeDub, Dread Kennedy, Quinto Sol, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, The Late Ones, Shakamon and much more blessed the crowd of Cherry Beach with beautiful music and all-around good vibes. The protest focused on peace and justice for all, supporting the Black Lives Matter cause in the fight against police brutality.
All donations gathered from the event were donated to Black Lives Matter, The Fight for Breonna and the George Floyd Memorial fund.
It was a beautiful, sunny Southern California day. The smell of the salty ocean breeze and temperatures in the 70s made for a very enjoyable day. With no wind at all, the music could be heard from the top of the bluffs above the beach and brought the people from all around. From 11am to 10pm, peace, love and positivity flowed through the crowd as attendees danced and moshed together while band after band performed. The entire day was fueled by many talented artists playing their hearts out. A performance that really stood out and got people up to groove along was Kat Hall’s cover of Anderson .Paak’s “Come Down”. The crowd was dancing and singing along with Kat while she killed it onstage. The day was full of originals and cover songs that everyone knew and could jam to. Another performer, and one of the main organizers of the event, Shakamon made a lasting impression as he serenaded the people of Long Beach. He covered Steel Pulse’s “Worth His Weight In Gold” alongside The Late Ones and Dread Kennedy, adding, “We do this for the people. These are some rough times. I felt that this song best suited the situation at hand… We have to raise awareness everywhere we go to the problems going on in the world. We are the leaders and shall bring change if we wish to see it.”
The Late Ones brought the night to an end with their powerful song, “Revolution” — a song that came out in 2016, yet is still relevant today. “It is good to see the youth coming up with a positive message for these crazy times,” Tomorrows Bad Seeds noted.
“Let the revolution begin, reggae music heals all. Life is the mission; love is the message. PunkRasta is life.”
Adam Lawson of the band The Lucky Ones had this to say about the event: “It was a beautiful day of unity, love and music, spreading the message that we are all stronger together! Artists uniting and paying homage to a culture and a community that has given us all so much. It was an honor to be a part of this day.” Powerful is an understatement for the experience and it was certainly a day to remember.
Photography by Sean McCracken ; Recap by Laith Atiyeh