Eager fans basked in the glorious California sun as they began their One Love Cali Reggae experience. The festival kicked off its 5th Anniversary at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach on Friday, February 7th. The amazing three-day festival, presented by Goldenvoice, kicked off Day One with three stages, hosting 26 must-see bands. Enthusiastic festival-goers rushed the gates to get to the first sets of the day. Their first stop was the Tiki Stage to see SoCal local favorites Cali Conscious who brought their sweet vibes. Keeping the local vibes flowing on the Roots and Culture Stage were the bad boys from Tomorrows Bad Seeds, who really got the crowd riled. Keeping it hot on the SMKFLWR Stage were the Phoenix heartthrobs in Katastro. The band dropped their sick beats in support of their recent album Tropical Heartbreak and also brought LA R&B/rapper Dylan Reese to the stage to join them for a song!
Between sets, fans could shop at the many different merchandise booths or choose from the many impressive food vendors. Fans could also stop by The Nowell Family Foundation booth. Kellie Nowell (sister of Sublime’s Bradley) and her family were there to raise funds to open Bradley’s House: a recovery facility designed to provide treatment to those in the music industry who suffer from opiate addiction. Fans also had the rare chance of bumping into their favorite musicians as they, too, enjoyed the festival. With the statuesque Queen Mary in the background, the Tiki Stage housed some fantastic bands! Cafe Con Tequila and Thrive entertained the crowds as they flowed through the gates, while Long Beach locals 4th & Orange proved there’s a new band in town to be reckoned with.
The amazing three-day festival, presented by Goldenvoice, kicked off Day One with three stages, hosting 26 must-see bands.
Along the sparkling Pacific Ocean, Josh Heinrichs & Skillinjah kicked it up a notch on the Roots & Culture Stage, warming the crowd up for Matisyahu, Collie Buddz and The Expendables. Keeping the party going on the SMKFLR Stage in east coast fashion was Ballyhoo!, who led the way for Pacific Dub and the all-time party band Pepper. Fans made their way back over to the Tiki Stage in time to catch the boys from B Foundation and Tunnel Vision. After a crazy year of touring and recording, fan favorites Kyle Smith and his band took to the stage next. Keeping to the theme of the Roots & Culture Stage, OG reggae greats Sister Nancy, The Abyssinians and Don Carlos kept the crowd grooving, while Steel Pulse closed out the night.
The One Love Cali Reggae Fest would not be the same without Atmosphere’s killer return to the SMKFLR Stage, priming fans for an epic ending to the evening with insane sets from Sublime with Rome and Dirty Heads. Stay tuned for Day Two and Three galleries, coming soon!
Recap by Jenni Lynne
Photography by Sean McCracken