AZ Roots 2020: Day One

Arizona Roots 2020 almost had a very uninvited guest — rain. Waking up the morning of February 22nd in Chandler, Arizona, attendees of the 2nd Annual reggae rock fest found buckets of rain pouring down from the sky. Not a good sign. An announcement that Day One gates were to be pushed back didn’t help anyone’s anxiety either; today was going to be a wet one. However, like the reggae rock gods knew a festival was to be had, the clouds parted to let the sun shine through the minute AZ Roots 2 began and continued shining all the way to the end. Opening the wetlands formerly known as Chandler’s Rawhide Events Center was DUBBEST, followed by locals Kush County on the secondary stage. More people funneled into the flooded grounds by midday, taking off their shoes to join kids playing in the watery wonderland as Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, SYNRGY and newcomer Vana Liya took the stage.

More people funneled into the flooded grounds by midday, taking off their shoes to join kids playing in the watery wonderland…

As the sun set over Collie Buddz, standup heaters were ignited and shared by strangers making friends in the dark. Passafire closed down what was inarguably too small of stage, before Steel Pulse and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley finished off Day One… right as the rain began to make a second appearance. With a whole other day of reggae rock music around the bend, AZ Roots attendees made their way to safety out of the sudden downpour as Damian Marley wrapped up his fiery performance. Stay tuned for Day Two, coming soon!

Photography by Kristy Rose & Sean McCracken

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