story & photos
by Taryn Alessandro & William G. Reed
People came from all over to witness the two-day 4th Annual Ocean State Reggae Festival at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI, July 19-20. The festival featured an eclectic mix of 13 bands, including Caribbean dances, Jamaica’s newest talents, and classic reggae. The artists sang harmonious messages of love, justice, and racial harmony beginning at noon, and continuing into the nights.
Artists included Glenn Washington, Don Carlos, Pato Banton, Yellow Man, Morgan Heritage, Dis ‘N’ Dat Band, Eric Smith & Dubnotix Band, Zema, Dynasty Productions, MAMADOU Diop, Legend (A Tribute to the Music of Bob Marley), One Band, and Roots Reaction.
Upon walking into the park, you are hit with the aromas of traditional Jamaican cuisine. Vendors were selling all types of Jamaican classics, including Jamaican Jerk chicken sandwiches, beef patties, and even nut burgers.
Camping overnight at the festival is becoming a tradition for some Ocean State Reggae Fest goers. The festival allows for you to buy a two-day pass for the event, which includes the price of camping at Ninigret Park. Campers don’t miss a beat of the melodic tunes radiating from the stage at the festival.
Sponsors for the event were Red Stripe Beer, The Washington Trust Company, 88.9 WERS, Gibson Guitars, Mystic Net Marketing, and The Resident.
The Ocean State Reggae Festival donates to the Rhode Island Fraternal Order of Police Associates; Hearts, Hands and Homes to find permanent homes for children who are wards of the state in CT & RI; and Jampact- an organization which helps in the education and basic needs of the impoverished population in Jamaica.
For more information regarding the Ocean State Reggae Festival, visit www.oceanstatereggae.com.