Lost in Time Festival shows what Reggae is in 2024

We love it when events spark controversy; we all love to give our opinion. And it shows, time and time again. We, as World A Reggae, or any other media outlet, can post the most beautiful or inspiring content; we can report on the most positive events. But when there is something less positive to share, social media explodes, and posts go viral. But more on that later.

The Lost in Time festival… for me, this was a breath of fresh air. It was very noticeable that the team put all their experience from touring worldwide into this production. The real-time art being made on the premises, the props like a big clock, the big gears like the caliber of a clock, the use of colors, the sponsor booths, the setup of the stages. Quality first seemed to be the motto.

But not only that, even the production on the Main “Lost in Time Stage.” The artists all styled to perfection, not one denim jeans, not just a shirt. Everything looked fresh and clean, artists looking like artists at work. Just like in the old days when the artists came out fully styled and colorful.

I could go into all the artist performances, but I don’t want this post to be about that. Please check the footage on our Instagram for that. And yes, Romain Virgo killed it, and yes, Jah9 looked like a true powerful queen. How amazing to see the progress in her work during the past 10 years. Ras I… Bro, yuh bad. I never knew you got the ladies screaming like that!! And although Sevana’s outfit sparked some conversation, her set on the New Wave stage was awesome. For those who came in later… you really missed Jah-Lil’s short but powerful set. And I surely would suggest checking out Khalia’s energetically fulfilled set (topped by a pinch of Tanya Stephens). A ray of light on stage and a welcome new face in the reggae space. And… If you didn’t get enough energy from Jah-Lil and Khalia, you surely would have gotten that from Runkus and Royal Blu.. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the future is bright. Oh, and I almost forgot, Samory… I want that suit and hat!! You rocked that red outfit!

Now let’s slowly move forward to the main show.. I apologize beforehand, I might forget one or two artists in this write-up.. From the moment it was showtime, the show was pure fire, pure positive energy, pure creativity. Did we see a reggae show? Yes, we did!

Let’s step aside for a bit.. I also attended the Island Music Conference. At the conference, the question arose, “What is Reggae,” which to me at that time made me smirk. Being in Jamaica, people here should know, right?

But after seeing the Marley Movie, the Lost in Time Festival, and being in Judgement Yard the other day, more and more it emerged to me, what I already knew. Reggae hasn’t got much to do with being a genre. Reggae, in my opinion, doesn’t equal Rasta or Ital per se. It’s not only about the sound, the one drop, the “wah-wah” from the guitar, or the heavy drum and bass. I think it has to do with bringing people together, making music together, telling stories, messages, being creative, sharing ideas, sharing precious time together. No matter who or what you are or where you are from. I saw people from all over the globe and in all colors of the rainbow. It is about creating a vibe where people can be themselves. Being rebels, thinking for yourself, not following masses. Reggae in its whole is changing, but it also stays the same. Pick your own Reggae, whether it’s Romain Virgo’s reggae, Jah9’s female empowering Reggae Sizzla’s Reggae Indiggnation’s Reggae, Congo’s Reggae, Steel Pulse’s Reggae, Dub Reggae, Steppas Reggae or or Bob Marley’s Reggae… Pick your favorite and stop discussing what is reggae… Reggae is something you feel, not something you hear.

With the Paramounts Marley Movie topping the box office charts, also bringing the One Love motto back, it shows. Once again people come together, people talk about it, and there seems to be a sense of… One Love. Even from people outside the reggae Scene.

And that’s what I also saw on stage at Lost in Time. Artists working together, no egos, just building vibes. Creativity first, again, perfectly styled and displaying a truckload of fun! No, there was not only reggae on stage, there were hints of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Soul, Hip-hop etc. All genres represented, but it felt like a Reggae concert still. I felt unity. Unity between the artists. Instead of beefing online, they spent time together honing their craft. Rehearsing, sharing thoughts and ideas. Being creative. And it showed. From the moment Protojé stepped on stage, bringing on Jesse and Lila (Or should we keep it to Wurl?) There was not a single moment I wasn’t shooting video or photos.

There was so much to see, like a carousel the artists were called on stage to bring the several collabs they all had together come to life on stage. Lila bringing on the girls, Jaz Elise, Sevana, and Naomi Cowan for the “Rock & Groove Riddim”, Protoje bringing Sevana back on for “Sudden Flight”. The artists kept coming, like rapid-fire artists like Govana, Agent Sasco, Stonebwoy, Valiant, Masicka, and Chi Chi Ching, again all dressed, sharp like razors. Samory I was brought back on stage to perform ‘Outside” with Lila, Yohan Marley brought “Blessing” alongside Jesse. Even Protoje walked over the stage with his daughter during Mortimers during ‘Lightning” and Lila felt the need to bring out her stylists and mommy.

As I started with, there was so much to see and take in. It will probably take a bit before I edit all that footage for you to see. In a way, I kinda was glad that the show ended… I really felt like I worked hard, partly in the rain, but it felt good… Until…

Until 5 minutes to 12. Allegedly Curfew time! I do want to put in my two cents on this. First of all, I wrote this online too, A curfew is a curfew. But…the way a curfew is executed could be done in different ways. And the way I saw it displayed that night was, in my opinion, not the right one. During the moment that Popcaan was called on stage, the Jamaican Constabulary Force walked on stage, urging the band and artists to stop the performance instantly. For me, this felt off, this could have been done more discreetly. With Popcaan seemingly being the closer of the show, on a show with this magnitude, being watched by people all over the globe… IN Reggae Month!, again, this didn’t feel right.

Reggae Music pulls thousands and thousands of, let’s call them “reggae Tourists” to the island. The government and the Tourist board are pushing Reggae Month very hard to draw attention to this little island in the sun. And they are doing a great job on that. But when those tourists finally arrive, they get to witness a different Jamaica. A Jamaica that locks off their Big Reggae Shows (reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute, Lost in Time etc.) without zero flexibility or leniency. Leaving tourists, and Jamaicans (but they are used to it, I guess) with their jaws dropped from what they just witnessed. This is never a good look, and a blast to “Brand Jamaica”.

I could go on about this some longer, but I want to end this review in a positive way. I would like to thank the Lost in Time organizers, Protoje and his team, for granting World A Reggae accreditation to attend this amazing production. I did get Lost in Time for 8 hours. Keep on doing the good works for reggae music! I myself grew up with 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Reggae, but World A Reggae grew up with you guys and it’s a joy to see the growth! Thanks!!

A little feedback, Please fix up the way the media can do its work. The press pit felt as packed as an evening at Weddy Weddy. A photo pit is not a dance floor. And please don’t let us walk all around the premises to literally run from stage to stage to catch a next artist and when we arrive there the place is packed and we as media cannot do our work to put you in the spotlight after the show is done . Sorry for cussing out the gate man…

by Danny Creatah

Lost In Time Festival 2024