Reggae Rise Up Florida 2021: Day Two

Day Two of Reggae Rise Up Florida brought in a flurry of people rushing through the gates of Vinoy Park. The tide of attendees was astounding, all smiling and laughing despite the infamous Florida humidity soaking their skin. As the day began and the sound waves started to pulsate through the air, the feeling of joy and love could be felt radiating through each and every soul. From the musicians to the staff of the festival, a vibrant energy was brewing from within.

Both the Rise Up and the Vibe Stage housed some mighty powerhouse acts.

Vana Liya hypnotized the crowd and sent them in a perpetual groove at the smaller Vibe Stage with her huge presence and sound. With smiles stamped on every single face, it was impossible not to get giddy. This was especially evident during Fortunate Youth’s set at the Rise Up Stage, in which the band played tracks off their new album, Good Times (Roll On), as well as iconic jams from the band’s back catalogue in front of a crowd passing around a giant inflatable joint. Each time the giant doob would be bopped up, a member of the band could be seen smiling. Ballyhoo! unleashed at vociferous set the Vibe Stage and shook it to its core. The always potent Tribal Seeds put on a set at the Rise Up Stage that made the ground quake beneath, as frontman Steven Jacobo serenaded iconic anthems to the crowd beneath a setting Florida sun. Each crash of Jamey “Zeb” Dekofsky’s cymbal would splash over like a Pacific wave knocking you on your ass, only to have to crave more as the undertow draws you back into the sea of a beautiful array of sound and vibrations.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, direct descendant of the one and only Robert Nesta Marley, took the already peak vibrations and turned them into something divine. The sounds coming from the amplifiers lifted each and every soul into the cosmic realm of frequencies, in which each sound would tweak the spectrum to higher and higher heights. It was beyond music and beyond a festival where the ever-present forces of Jah could be felt lifting each and every person to a realm of ethereal sanctity.

When the music stopped at Vinoy Park for the evening, the flock floated to Fo’Cheezy for a savory afterparty thrown by Herbal Remedy Radio. The likes of Gary Dread (of The Movement) and James Strips (of Tropidelic) supplied a groove, while Fo’Cheezy supplied the munch. The weekend was just getting underway and the best was yet to be had. Check out our Day Three recap and gallery soon!

Photography by Brian “Porkchop” Nicholson; recap by Brendan McGinley

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