The 24th Annual Rototom Sunsplash

Reggae is universal. It transcends international borders like no other musical genre. Whether in the form of Caribbean dancehall, island dub, American reggae-rock, African dance, or UK reggae ska, there’s a significant reggae backbeat embedded in Western culture. And, there is a rising number of reggae festivals popping up in Asian countries as well! For the wanderlust reggae lover, the top of the list should be Spain’s annual Rototom Sunsplash Festival.

For the wanderlust reggae lover, the top of the list should be Spain’s annual Rototom Sunsplash Festival.

For those not aware of this eight-day epic reggae extravaganza, the shorefront town of Benicassim is the place to be in August (a few miles north of Valencia and due east of Madrid). With seven kilometers of beach, the festival is set on the banks of Costa Azahar on the Mediterranean Sea, with nothing but fun in the sun on the agenda. And, this year is all about Africa! Rototom boasts almost too many artists to name – all coming from different parts of the globe. And, convenient to concert-goers, the acts are broken up by category across seven stages. The Main Stage hosts the headliners, while the Lion Stage has rootsy, rock and ska artists such as Nattali Rize, New Kingston, Chainska Brassika. The Dancehall is pretty self-explanatory, with acts such as Aidonia and King Turbo; same goes for the Dub Academy Stage, featuring Mad Professor, Dub Engine, Emerterians, and more. The Caribbean Uptempo Stage will host a cocktail of ska, rocksteady, and calypso rhythms and the Roots Yard area will be spinning roots reggae all festival long. The African Village is the heart of the whole scene: a multidisciplinary space dedicated to the origins of humanity, through music, art, cuisine, fashion, and much, much more. Music, above all else, will be honored in the African Village, with a myriad of traditional African artists to grace the performance stage.

And, let’s talk Main Stage: The Specials, Shaggy, The Wailers, Gentleman & Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, Youssou NDOUR, Chronixx, Beenie Man, Toots & The Maytals, Luciano (featuring Mafia & Fluxy), Seun Kuti, U Roy, Big Youth, Mad Professor, Inna De Yard, Twinkle Brothers, Don Carlos, Christopher Martin, Mellow Mood, Sinsemilia, La Pegatina, Amparanoia, The Heptones, The Silvertones, Hempress Sativa, Iseo & Dodosound, Raging Fyah, Black Roots, Stick Figure, African Head Charge, Nadine Sutherland, Treesha, and Nkulee Dube. THAT’S JUST ONE STAGE!! There will not be a shortage of good music and positive vibes at Rototom 2017. With almost too much to do, let’s not forget about the interactive Artisan Market, where adults and children alike can take workshops on crafting, woodworking, toy-building, natural makeup making, sculpting, planting, and more. Want to escape the festivities for a bit? No problem, just head on over to the Sun Beach area! Rototom Sun Beach stretches across three local beaches – Torreón, Heliopolis, and Gurugú – where all music and activities are free for all! That’s right, no ticket into the festival required. While basking in the sunlight, sign up to take an African dance class, or one of the reggae or dancehall ones. Why not return home from the fest with new dance skills? Too much sun? Get a drink at the Solé beach bar or enroll in Reggae University for a lecture from artists, producers, authors, and other industry leaders. Afterward, preach about what you learned in the Social Forum! The Pachamama area is where festivalgoers can apply eco-friendly values to the planet, and the Art Symposium will be the home of cultural artifacts and exhibits from global artists. Explore a wide array of merchandise in the Jumble Sale marketplace, act like a kid in the Magicoworld area, and top it all off at the big top – aka, the Rototom Circus.

There will not be a shortage of good music and positive vibes at Rototom 2017.

Between making the world a better place, promoting human unity, and making lasting memories set to music, Rototom 2017 delivers on all fronts. Tickets are now on sale, ranging from single day to eight-day packages with or without camping. And, did we mention this is not your everyday campsite? Courtesy of the Glamping Company, Rototom camping tents range from ‘easy tents’ (equipped with padlocks to keep your stuff safe all day), to deluxe tents (full privacy rooms, despite fitting up to 12 people), to English colonial-style ‘bell tents’ (great for groups). The campground will even have food vendors onsite! Despite being halfway around the world for Americans, this eight-day festival with camping and an easy tent only runs attendees a whopping $315. Just make sure to do the math converting euros to dollars when purchasing your ticket. With travel, this might seem a little high to take the whole family… but, never fear! This particular fest has special exceptions to get you in FREE! Kids under the age of 13 and retirees over the age of 65 get in free of charge. So, grandma, go ahead and put away your pocketbook! People with permanent disabilities, with a valid doctor’s note, also skip the ticket cost. To be honest, the only ones to leave at home are your pets. More acts may be added to the lineup before August, but in the meantime, get full details at #CelebratingAfrica #Rototom2017

Rototom 2017 Main Stage Announcement video

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