Following a landmark year is hard to do, plain and simple. Among festivals celebrating a decade in the biz last May was Monterey’s reggae rock meets hip hop conglomeration, California Roots Music & Arts Festival. Starting from a low-key hangout for reggae lovers has now morphed into a movement beyond measure. Celeb sightings abound as you walk through the grounds of the Monterey Fairgrounds every Memorial Day Weekend, trudging from stage to stage to enjoy the utmost in the alternative industry every hour for three days straight. Plus, you couldn’t get a better contact high from the people there — whether that accompanies actual highs or not. It’s a vibe unlike any other.
Now in its 11th year (yay, double digits!), Cali Roots continues its journey to conquer the best in live entertainment, bringing forth its first-round artists for 2020 today. And, let’s just say, no one expected a few of these…
Holy smokes, Cali Roots, you’re gonna have to let us catch our breath before announcement two.
If you’re brand spankin’ new to the Cali Roots vibe, congrats, you’ve got a lot in store for you! You also have quite a bit of catching up to do. Regardless, the fest loves to recycle artists from years prior, keeping it within the family (so to speak) as it grows in infamy. Thus, it’s no surprise that Cali Roots veterans like HIRIE, J Boog, Chronixx and Trevor Hall are returning for Year 11. They brought the fire before and they’re bound to do it once again. Of course, it wouldn’t be Cali Roots without a Marley on the bill, so Year 11 is also welcoming back Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley to headline! Yet, this is the part that no one saw coming. Ice Cube — I repeat, ICE CUBE — is headliner number two. Woah, Cali Roots. WOAH. An NWA legend is gracing the Bowl Stage? That’s right, California Roots 2020 checked itself before it wrecked itself.
If that’s not enough, we have all kinds of variety in this first announcement — WAY more than any other year. Reggae colossal Jimmy Cliff is on board for the first time, as well as the funkiest freshest ensemble on the rise, Durand Jones & The Indications. Perhaps a few of you caught Durand Jones in action touring with Rebelution over the summer; if not, Cali Roots has the encore. Also premiering on CR stages will be Vana Liya, Natiruts and Dub Inc, while Cali Roots heavyweights like Mike Love and Tarrus Riley serenade the fans once again. Satsang and the ska boys of Bumpin Uglies will also be there and, lest we forget, Iya Terra is set for round two on melting everyone’s faces off after their big Bowl performance last year! Holy smokes, Cali Roots, you’re gonna have to let us catch our breath before announcement two.
For those eager to jump on CR 2020, early bird tickets go on sale this Tuesday, October 29th (talk about a Halloween treat!!!). If you want a chance to win a whopping six-pack of tickets to the fest along with a chance to buy tickets before they go on sale to the public, Cali Roots is conducting a special contest now. For more information, visit the links below and Top Shelf hopes to see you in Monterey next May!