Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival
Wednesday, June 20 until June 24th at
858 Yates Street
Greetings to all our Ska & Reggae Massive, near and far, where you may roam! The long winter is beginning to recede and the time has come to prepare for warm days and warmer music. Join us JUNE 20-24 as the 19th Annual Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival welcomes the world with a staggeringly diverse lineup full of the finest grooves and rhythms from around the globe.
We are proud to welcome back the icons of modern ska, THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES. It's been nearly a decade since the Boston institution has graced a Ska & Reggae Fest stage and they return to headline our marquee stage at Ship Point in Victoria's famous Inner Harbour. Making their Festival debut, also gracing our main stage, is legendary Los Angeles outfit OZOMATLI feat. Chali 2na. Since their inception Ozomatli has been one of the most exciting bands in North America, incorporating an endless array of genres into their arsenal and building one of the most engaging live shows you're likely to see.
Once again our stage at Ship Point will host free, all-ages programming featuring internationally recognized bands, playing a variety of styles and genres, all guaranteed to make you move. Maybe the biggest ska band to ever come out of Mexico, PANTEON ROCOCO is sure to thrill the crowd with their huge sound and infectious energy. Heavily influenced by first-wave ska music, South Korea's KINGSTON RUDIESKA is bringing their high-energy, throwback ska show to Canadian soil for the first time. New York reggae group and veterans of world-famous Easy Star Records, GIANT PANDA GUERILLA DUB SQUAD will be laying hazy lovers-grooves under the Victoria skyline. The massive horn-army that is WESTERN STANDARD TIME SKA ORCHESTRA – a 17-piece ska orchestra including members of Hepcat, former members of The Aggrolites, The Debonaires and The Resignators – return to the festival to once again give us an unforgettable big-band ska experience.
As we always make sure to give voice to the icons that helped spread the influence of Jamaican music and culture, we are honoured to present the Festival debuts of two more giants of reggae music in our 19th year. Legendary vocalist and producer FREDDIE MCGREGOR will be playing his silky-smooth lovers' reggae on our stages for the very first time for what promises to be one of the finest vocal displays our audience has seen in some time. Roots soldiers CULTURE feat. Kenyatta Hill (Son of founder Joseph Hill) will be laying down their deeply groovy reggae, armed with their powerful political messages and calls for peace.
In addition to presenting these reggae legends, we look to one of the icons of west coast ska for inspiration as we have tapped an incredible group of Victoria musicians (From groups like Lovecoast, Dope Soda, Fox Glove and more) to present the debut of our very special TRIBUTE TO NO DOUBT. “DOUBTLESS” features a variety of the city's finest vocalists paying homage to the California legends.
As our community grows, our local family gets stronger and we couldn't be more stoked to bringing back some of favourite Victoria and Vancouver friends and family. Vancouver celtic-punkers THE DREADNOUGHTS will be getting raucous late into the night, while Victoria's reggae sensation CALEB HART & THE ROYAL YOUTHS will once again proving why they're at the vanguard of Canadian reggae music. Rabble-rousers and festival-favourites SWEETLEAF will make a triumphant return and ultra-smooth groovemeister BOUSADA will once again hit our stage to get hips swaying and heads bobbing. We are proud to present the debut of ILLVIS FRESHLY LIVE, as the hometown hip-hop heroes lay down their party-rocking tracks with a full band for the first time.
Legendary Brooklyn hip-hop collective READY TO ROCK CREW feat. Que Rock will be on hand to display their mastery of the many facets of hip-hop culture, a culture that shares many roots with reggae. UK DJ and producer JIMI NEEDLES makes his Canadian debut for a bass-heavy dance party that is guaranteed to be a journey through sound, unbound by genre constraints. Vancouver-based vocalist, producer and writer ERICA DEE will be putting down her deeply soulful grooves for a set unlike anything the Festival has ever seen.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The lineup is filled with many other artists, both local and international, with a few more to come. Our Rocksteady Collective Multimedia Arts will be returning to present visual and culinary arts from a variety of local artists and our Free Workshop Series is gearing up to once again give the community a chance to hear about the music and culture firsthand from the creators themselves in a unique setting.
Full Festival Passes, Jupiter VIP Passes, Harbour Passes, and individual tickets on sale Friday, March 16 @ Midnight at ticketweb.ca
Tickets also available in-store @:
Victoria – Jupiter, Lyle's Place, Vinyl Envy
Duncan – Area51
Vancouver – Red Cat Records, Highlife Records, Zulu Records and Beat Street
Nanaimo – Fascinating Rhythm
If you know of any changes that are needed to this event listing or if it is a weekly event that is no longer happening, please let us know and we will fix it. Include the event name in your comment - CONTACT.
We are a grassroots live music guide and appreciate any input you have to help us be as accurate as possible.