The vibration endures. Since 1994, Austinites of all ilks have overlapped their quilts on the lakeside lawn and passed pipes to a soundtrack of reggae, ska, dub, and dancehall. The party keeps the poor’s “belly full” with a typically six-figure contribution to the Central Texas Food Bank. For their sake, pray for blue skies and green grass.
Inclement weather previously nixed two golden headliners: dub mysterio Lee “Scratch” Perry in 2015 and Bunny Wailer, sole survivor of the genre’s greatest triptych (R.I.P. Marley and Tosh), last year. In 2017, booker Angela Tharp, who owns local reggae HQ Flamingo Cantina, largely skips grandfatherly Rastas for a lineup of emerging acts and Reggae Fest newcomers.
Sunday catches afire with Austin’s dubwise reggae torchbearers Mau Mau Chaplains (5pm), setting the stage for the blessings of Virgin Islands roots rockers Akae Beka (7:30pm). The project, fronted by inspiring Rastaman Vaughn Benjamin, stands as the continuation of St. Croix favorites Midnite.
– Kevin Curtin