Reggae Rise Up Music Festival – Baltimore, MD Port Covington – July 29-31, 2022
This was the first time Reggae Rise up set up shop in Maryland, well actually in the northeast. It was a very hot and humid three days, but that didn’t stop the thousands of reggae fans from having a great time. The festival ran smoothly and was set up perfectly, with great food and craft vendors and great vibes. If there was one complaint it was only having one water station, all the way in the back. July in Baltimore is hot and humid, more water would have been a good idea. Other than that, this was a great festival!
Day 1 started out with Signal Fire followed by Sun-Dried Vibes. Both of whom I have never seen before and they did a great job starting off the fest. While the crowd loved watching and listening to Bumpin’ Uglies, The Movement, and the Trevor Hall, I loved watching and photographing Lila Ike, Jesse Royal and Protoje. The best performance of the day was Jesse Royal, jumping, dancing, and hyping the crowd the entire set. But what really did it was when he jumped off the stage and started singing with the crowd. Of course, Dirty Heads finished the night off perfectly and really set up the next two days.
Day 2 had a local band the Harbor Boys start off the day. If you have not listened to these guys yet, you need to check them out. Great young guys, talented musicians and so much fun on stage. Nattali Rize was fantastic with her all-female (actually one guy on keys) band. She sounded so good and her band killed it. Iya Terra always puts on a great performance, I always say they are a rock/metal band that plays reggae. What’s not to like about Hirie, the entire crowd swaying back and forth as her sweet voice filled the air. Iration followed Hirie and had the crowd singing along the entire set and then Matisyahu hit the stage with his original bass player doing most of his songs from Live at Stubbs. Grammy winner SOJA finished off the night in perfect fashion. As always, they put on a great set, sounding so good.
Day 3 had another young and great-sounding artist, Dale and the Zdubs starting off on the main stage. This is another group to check out. So talented, from Dale’s singing and guitar playing to his entire band. Bikini Trill is such a fun band to watch as is Ballyhoo! The crowd loves their vibes and crazy energy. Artikal Sound System is quickly becoming a favorite at these festivals putting on another great performance. To say which was my favorite performance of the day is so hard. Kabaka Pyramid came out and I think tried to out due Jesse Royal, singing, dancing, jumping around, and then coming down to the crowd as well. Common Kings came out and opened up the rain clouds! They didn’t care, the crowd didn’t care (us photographers were the only ones that cared LOL), they all just kept on rocking. They were followed up by Pepper, and as always they put on a great performance, especially when they had Common Kings come out to help finish off their amazing set. The night and the festival was finished off with some more rain and another great show by Slightly Stoopid. They took us through so many of their great songs, it really was a great way to end the first northeast Reggae Rise up!