The time has come, the moment everyone has been waiting for since the conclusion of Memorial Day Weekend 2016. That's right, the final announcement has been declared for this year's California Roots Music and Arts Festival, taking place at the same Monterey Fairgrounds as all seven previous, glorious years. Starting at 10am on Friday, May 26th, reggae and festival lovers alike will join forces to experience a weekend like none other – the 8th Annual Cali Roots.
The first Cali Roots announcement took place in early October, giving just a taste of what the new year has in store. The hype was kicked off with mixed-genre headliners, hip hop legends Jurassic 5 with direct support from Dirty Heads. Other names among the first-round artists included Common Kings, Alborosie, Anthony B, Jesse Royal, Mellow Mood, Through the Roots, Iya Terra, Tribal Theory, Humble Soul, and The Late Ones. Needless to say, early bird three-day passes started flying off the proverbial shelves.
Along came December 1st: an ordinary day to some, but for members of the reggae scene, it was commonly known as California Roots Second Reveal Day. That day outlined the second wave of artists, and Cali Roots 2017 started to take solid shape. For anyone that missed the benchmark, Nas – one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time – has officially been inducted into the California Roots performing artist family! Also attending the 8th Annual is veteran headliners, GRAMMY nominees, and lifetime Cali Roots brethren SOJA. Fun fact: SOJA is one of the first Cali Roots bands to ever take the stage, and that's why it's always a pleasure seeing them return to the stage year after year. If you weren't stoked enough from just those two bands, don't worry, there was more: Iration, Stick Figure, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Protoje, and Easy Star All-Stars were all announced, as well. Still not enough? How about Passafire, Yellowman, and Jah9? Yeah, those guys, plus RDGLDGRN, Six60, Ballyhoo!, and Synrgy, too. Dwell on all of that for a second…
With all this excitement, it's a hard pill to swallow knowing that the festival is still months away.
Right around then, most people got really, really excited. Like, cancel all other plans, this year's Cali Roots CANNOT be missed kind of excited. With Nas' name sparkling on the marquee, how could this festival get any more spectacular, any more intriguing? And more diverse, more confounding? Cue announcement number three. The day has arrived, the full lineup has finally been exposed. Concluding the talent list is alternative dub festival newcomers Thievery Corporation and recently GRAMMY-nominated band, Rebelution. If you didn't think this year's Cali Roots would be eclectic enough, get a load of this fun assortment of musical genres in round three: Matisyahu (world-reggae), Collie Buddz (hip hop-reggae), Rising Appalachia (world-dub), Zach Deputy (funk-hip hop-jam), John Brown's Body (bluegrass-reggae), Roots of Creation (electronica-reggae), Beebs (ska-reggae), Darenots (indie), Tyrone's Jacket (hip hop), and the Skanks Roots Project (spoken word-reggae). Lastly, Rebelution's Eric Rachmany and Amp Live are showcasing their Unified Highway project – just in case you want to witness Rachmany in a novel light.
With all this excitement, it's a hard pill to swallow knowing that the festival is still months away. As per usual, this is an all-ages camping event, with passes for general admission, camping, VIP, and everything in between now available. But, act fast – tickets won't be available for long! For more information or for ticket purchasing, visit www.californiarootsfestival.com.
2017 Round Three Artist Line-Up Announcement:
- Thievery Corporation
- Collie Buddz
- Rising Appalachia
- John Brown's Body
- Unified Highway
- Zach Deputy
- Roots Of Creation
- Tyrone’s Jacket
- Skanks Roots Project
- See the full lineup here
California Roots details:
The 8th Annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Dates: Friday, May 26, 2017 – Sunday May 28, 2017
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm PDT
Venue: Monterey County Fair and Event Center
Address: 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, CA 93940
Admission: Varies (Purchase Link: http://californiarootsfestival.com/tickets)
Age restrictions: All Ages
Full lineup: http://lineup.californiarootsfestival.com