Reggae Rise Up Florida 2021: Day Four

Day Four began with a preempted sadness: the knowledge that the festival would be over by the end of the day weighed heavily on the minds of all the festival attendees, but the triumphant march through Reggae Rise Up Florida carried on. The humidity was swapped for a cooler, more overcast day, making for a comfortable Sunday that was jam-packed with undeniable talent. Each band brought savory slices of delicious music and, though the overcast skies housed clouds that looked as if they were about to unleash a monsoon, the potent vibes and excellent music kept everyone dry.

With bands like The Movement and Iration on Sunday’s lineup, attendees moved about the festival grounds with an intensely pleasant buzz. The omnipresent dust seemed to not deter attendees, never once allowing their blackened festival feet to stop them from seeing the next act. Summer Survivors kicked off the day, with a second serving of Sarasota vibrations before handing the stage to Resinated. The band must have had a case of “Sativa Feva”, which seemed to be quite contagious, since the aroma that wafted through the air was of a similar vibe. Even that didn’t stop the “Body Moves” of everyone who caught the fever, as each and every person could be seen maneuvering through the soundwaves with ease.

At the Rise Up Stage, DUBBEST kicked things off and had the crowd moving to a whole new groove with their east and west coast hybrid sound.

With frontman Ryan Thaxter’s keyboard up way loud and Cory Mahoney’s guitar strumming, the thick looming clouds were surely forgotten, as was the thought that the festival was ending. Instead, Vinoy Park was as lively as ever; each smile shone like a beacon, signaling awesome music and tremendous fun. When The Movement hit the Rise Up Stage, the aura of love replaced the grey clouds entirely. It almost felt mystic how the vibes repelled any chance of rain and with The Movement projecting tunes and harmonies of love, there was nothing that could get in the way of having a memorable weekend.

The real magic of the weekend came in the little things, whether that was getting lost in the music and synchronizing the tempo of a jam with the rhythm of your heart or locking eyes with a distant stranger, only to feel their energy piercing right through the soul. The apex of the festival seemed to reach higher and higher, and, by the time headliners Dirty Heads hit the stage, the energy was unleashed into a wild party, reverberating through the avenues of St. Petersburg. The echoes of famous lines from The Goonies and about permanent vacations bounced around for a good while, but it all eventually came to an end, as the memories of the weekend stained each attendee with glee and, perhaps, even a bit of dust. And, for those that just wouldn’t accept the end of RRUF 2021, it was on to the Katastro and Fo Cheezy afterparty! Cheers to the next RRUF, here sooner than ever in March 2022!

Photography by Brian “Porkchop” Nicholson & Jay Cohen; recap by Brendan McGinley

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