It’s almost time for Reggae Rise Up Florida, one of the largest and most beautiful festivals in the country! Every year (well, almost every year) it’s held at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park, with its stretching views of the Tampa Bay waters with boaters, dolphins, art, palm trees, hammocks and plenty of space to spread out to relax and enjoy reggae music to the fullest. I remember RRUF’s last event in 2019… On Saturday, I took a break to stretch out on a hammock up on the palm trees, where another hammock was underneath with someone else kicked back, watching the amazing sunset while listening to the beautiful voice of HIRIE onstage; it just doesn’t get any better.
The fest is located in downtown St. Pete, where some of the strongest reggae vibes in Florida exist alongside plenty of awesome local bands, bars, restaurants and hotels.
There is always a lot to do! St. Petersburg is a city that loves art as much as music; you will see mural paintings, all kinds of art stores… and RRU is no different, with tons of artist, craft vendors, live paintings, large-scale artworks for all kinds of photo opportunities and, of course, plenty of food and drink vendors to keep everyone satisfied with their thirst or munchies.
Reggae Rise Up goes for multiple days across multiple stages — even the boaters in the bay can enjoy the music! With some of the biggest names in reggae scene, it’s an event that sells out year after year. For Friday, October 21st, we have Tribe Of I, Cloud9 Vibes, Vana Liya, DENM, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Ballyhoo!, Fortunate Youth, Tribal Seeds and, to top it all off, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. On Saturday, it’s locals Tropico Blvd, before 4th & Orange, Ries Brothers (another local group), The Elovaters, Keznamdi and Jesse Royal take over the mid-afternoon. By the evening, attendees can experience The Expendables, HIRIE, Collie Buddz, SOJA and Slightly Stoopid. Then, last but not least on Sunday, it’s more locals to kick off the day, Summer Survivors, followed by DUBBEST, Resinated (one of our biggest locals), Katastro, Landon McNamara, Badfish, The Movement, Matisyahu and alt reggae sensation Dirty Heads. And! There’s more to be added on not just Friday, but Sunday and a whole Thursday pre-party! There’s not a band you would want to miss, so why would you want to skip the official pre-party? It’s going to be a phenomenal weekend of reggae across all genres and it’s already mostly sold out.
I’m so excited for these bands and this entire weekend — same as so many others I know! I can’t believe it’s been two years; you know all these bands are going to go hard, exploding with energy, all excited to be back onstage and with the fans, who are just as amped up for the live music to be back on a large scale. This is going to be epic, comment if we will see you there!