A weekend of non-stop music
The sparkling weekend weather added to the lustre of the 12th edition of the annual Montreal International Reggae Festival from August 14 to 16.
Organizers say it was another bumper year for the fest with solid attendance over the three nights and delighted fans who reveled in the presence of some the best reggae performers on the planet.
Friday night’s line-up, which featured highlight performances by Montreal’s granddaddy of reggae, Jah Cutta, together with the irrepressible Kaisha Lee and international star Beres Hammond set a good tone for the next two days.
Saturday night the dancehall and soca fans turned out in their numbers and were in a mood to dance.
Local firebrand soca man Daddy Ghost had a lively performance and set the stage for the other soca acts, Barbados’ Sadis and Leadpipe, who created a stir with their 2015 hit Ah Feeling A Feeling and Fireman Hooper with his Rum Meeting.
Festival newcomers Kranium and Dexta Dapps commanded attention, and superstars Lady Saw and Shabba Ranks both delivered, as expected, performances that were exciting in their raunchiness.
Sunday night, August 16, drew lovers of conscious and cultural reggae in big numbers and they were not disappointed with a steady lineup of standout international stars, including icons of soul The Manhattans, Canada’s perennial Juno winner Exco Levi, British crooner Bitty McLean, and Iba Mahr, who prepared the way for the headliners. Cocoa Tea, as usual, had the crowd on his side and they sang along with him.
And it was another signature performance for Tarrus Riley, who delivered a slew of his recent releases and ended with an exclamation mark with Shabba Ranks and Cocoa Tea joining him for his mega hit, She Royal.
Cocoa Tea was awarded the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to him by Noel Alexander of the Jamaican Association of Montreal. Marcia Griffiths, was last year’s recipient.