Uppsala Reggae Festival is Northern Europe’s largest reggae festival and has been held since 2001. Each year the festival presents some of the world’s most famous reggae artists and legends – both Swedish and international acts – this year boasting Toots & The Maytals, Gyptian and Ken Boothe, among several others.
Last year – the festival’s tenth anniversary – was a kind of a best of the best festival. This year there is less of the more established artists and more of newcomers with acts representing dancehall, modern roots reggae and reggae fusion, and includes performers such as Elephant Man, Queen Ifrica, Mr.Vegas, Pressure and Protoje.
“What I’m most looking forward to is Toots & The Maytals, Ken Boothe and Johnny Clarke because they have such a tight sound and are always great live. I’m also looking forward to our venture into the dance scene with all the invited dancers and dancehall artists. I’m hoping for lots of energy and joy,” says Yared Tekeste, founder of Uppsala Reggae Festival, to Reggaemani.
The dance venture that Yared Tekeste is looking forward to is a new step for Uppsala Reggae Festival, and, according to the press release, a giant step into the new decade with a focus on street dance, dance performances and dance parties.
“There is a positive and innovative up-tempo energy within the international reggae scene that we also want to spread to Sweden. This year we have devoted ourselves to offering both a music festival and a dance festival to celebrate all the joy there is in both the more established and newer forms of reggae”, says Yared Tekeste.
Each year the festival attracts audiences of 15,000–20,000 people. The mission is to make reggae music accessible to more people and to be a melting pot for people to come together to experience love and a feeling of belonging.
“Whether you’re a reggae lover or not, we want to be a meeting spot for people that want to experience love and solidarity – oneness. This year’s festival is also special because the Life is Great theme gets a new expression through our new focus on dance. The audience will receive both classic and contemporary roots reggae, but also lots of energetic dancehall. The overall impression is awesome,” concludes Yared Tekeste.
This year Uppsala Reggae Festival takes place on 4-6 August.