There are festivals and there are FESTIVALS… To be honest.. I do not know exactly what it is that makes Reggae Sundance stand out from the dozens of festivals I attended. It could be the fact that Sundance was the first Outdoor Reggae Festival I attended in 1996. Maybe it’s the hundreds of memories I made there. Maybe it’s the history of seeing the greatest artists there for the first time, artists like Gregory Isaacs, Culture, Eek A Mouse, Israel Vibration, Ini Kamoze, and Frankie Paul, LKJ, Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Junior Reid, Sugar Minott, John Holt, etc etc. Too Many to mention.
This year’s festival, dubbed by other press as “The Return of Sundance”, wasn’t much different from its previous editions (which is a huge compliment). Pure good vibes, amazing weather, great family vibes, and hundreds of patrons fulljoying themselves in the various created spots in the shade. A great mix of bands spanning from the original Ska by the Skatalites, Roots Reggae from The Abyssinians, Jazzy Reggae from Groundation, Rebellious Reggae from Queen Ifrica to new modern Dancehall Reggae out of Ghana from the BHIM boss Stonebwoy. Ending the day with the highlight of the evening, the great Alpha Blondy (Joined by Stonebwoy on stage).
Next to the shows on the main stage, Dublovers could get their kicks in the Dub Area where Food Bass Shelter and Tippy From I Grade Sounds (Longside Kumar) sent heavy basslines into the atmosphere.
In the by Deco Roots created Lounge area, people could just hold a vibe and enjoy the various sound systems like United Sounds, Sista Soulja, Deco Roots, Crucial Sounds, and Ovadoze Movement. All adding their own style to the festival.
The end of the festival came way too fast, after Alpha Blondy’s Brigadier Sabari and deafening applause the silence fell over the ‘Karpendonkse Plas” site, leaving the visitors with that magical Reggae Sundance family feeling. Tinnitus in your ears, sand in every pore, sore feet, burned skin, but… A day well spent… we can not wait for the Winter Edition which, according to the organization, will be held on February 4th, 2023.