I don’t know about you, but the minute the world started shutting down due to COVID the second week of March 2020, the first thing I thought about was “there’s no way this will affect Cali Roots, it’s too far out”. Then, like the festival gods were listening and wanted to punish me, the announcement came that Cali Roots 2020 was officially postponed to an indeterminate future. I was devastated. Angry. I felt ripped off and that the world might actually be ending in a zombie apocalypse. A Memorial Day Weekend not in Monterey??! How could it be so?? What do I do with myself??? And, where?? With over a decade in attending one festival in one city the same weekend every year, I forgot what to do otherwise.
Well, one year later, Memorial Day Weekend is back upon us and we are spending yet another holiday apart…
For those who do not know the magic of California Roots Fest, you might think I’m being a bit hyperbolic. But, I cannot stress the liberation and relief you feel walking through the gates on Day One. The togetherness and pure bliss is contagious, as you greet friends left and right you haven’t seen in a year, congregating all in one place. You bounce from stage to stage to stage seeing the best in hip hop and reggae (of all genres), with unannounced once-in-a-lifetime collabs, pop-up performances and jam sessions happening with your favorite artists right before your eyes. I fully believe this festival to be a true definition of the word ‘synergy’ in action. If you don’t believe me, try attending for yourself.
And, guess what, you can in 2022. Announcing its royal return to the Monterey Fairgrounds, California Roots Music and Arts Festival will officially take place once again May 26th-29th, 2022. Read that again. That is one, two, three… FOUR days?! For those who have been fans of Cali Roots from the start (or for those who have only gone once), the general consensus the morning of Day Three is that ‘how could the fest already be over?’.
It took over a decade and a worldwide quarantine to finally get the answer to our prayers — a fourth day of Cali Roots!
The lineup stayed pretty much the same from 2020, with a few exceptions here and there to accommodate the new date. However, with the additional day for 2022, Cali Roots managed to add even more mind-blowing acts to an already extremely stacked lineup. 2020 boasted inaugural fest performances by Ice Cube, Sean Paul, Jimmy Cliff, Durand Jones and The Indications and more! There was even going to be a special sunset performance by Sublime With Rome (also newbies to the fest)! With the extended twist for 2022, reggae rock fans can enjoy a full extra day of music Thursday, May 26th with performances by Dirty Heads, Stephen Marley, Protoje (featuring Lila Iké), Fortunate Youth, Alborosie, Demarco, DENM, Turbulence, Tropidelic and Eli-Mac. WOW. That right there is enough to buy a festival ticket, let alone be the pre-party. Guess everyone has to set up camp or check into their hotels by Wednesday from now on!
It’s clear that 2022 is going to be a whole new world at Cali Roots. Tickets are available now (as well as VIP upgrades), so don’t hesitate — grab them while you can! The Cali Roots staff is happy to accommodate passes bought previously for 2020 or help you to exchange them if you cannot make the new dates. For more information, visit the links below or www.calirootsfest.com.