Staying cool in the heat is a constant battle, but if you’re in the Old Port lounging by the water, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re relaxing on an island paradise and the Montreal International Reggae Festival, August 20-21, makes it even easier. The festival is the largest event of its kind in Canada with 60,000 people coming from all over for the two-day party…
On August 20, get ready to welcome Mavado. He’s a Jamaican singer, actor, producer, DJ and all around cool guy. Mavado shot into the public eye with his hit single Real McKoy and has been releasing hits ever since, recently collaborating with Drake on his huge single, Find Your Love. I’d catch Mavado’s wild performance while you still can.
Jamaican born singer Gyptian plays at 8pm- lovers of dancehall should be all over this show, especially because Gyptian is riding high off of the success of his single Hold Yuh, which was one of the biggest dance tracks of the last year. Because it’s so awesome. Expect a wild crowd and lots of dancing.
On August 21, Jamaican heavy weight Wayne Wonder will bring da riddim at 7:15pm. He’s a slick performer with a golden voice and his performances are not to be missed. On the subject of gold, Sharon Tucker sings just before him at 7 pm. Sharon Tucker is one of Jamaica’s most famous and adored singers – it doesn’t hurt that she grow up next to Peter Tosh in Trenchtown. Sharon Tucker has opened for Bunny Wailer and Junior Delgado and has provided background vocals for several hit songs, but for The International Reggae Fest, she’s stepping out of the shadows and for good reason. She campaigns for AIDS awareness and strives to promote love and good vibes with her song Give A Little Love.
Later that night Third World take the stage at 8pm. They have playing music since ’73 and have seen reggae rise to the top of the charts. Stevie Wonder became a fan of the band and co-wrote the song Try Jah Love with them in 80s. If they’re good enough for Stevie they’re good enough for me. Then, get ready for headliner Beres Hammond at 8:30. He’s a living legend in the world of reggae and probably served as inspiration for all the other reggae artists playing the fest. He closes this year’s festival with his highly anticipated show.
Montreal International Reggaefest, August 20-21, 2011
Quays of the Old Port, (514) 482-7921
Photo Credit: Daidix