When most people think of reggae, the name Bob Marley springs to mind. Rightfully so, considering the late godfather of the genre spread the Jamaican sound to the world. But his work has inspired a new generation of reggae musicians, many of whom will be on display at the April 9 California Roots: The Carolina Sessions Reggae Festival in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach.
Headlined by alt rock/reggae band 311, more than 11 bands have already been announced as part of the lineup to play on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront on the site of the old Pavilion. With the ocean in the background and the crowds dancing to the island beats on the grassy field, a reggae beach party of as many as 50,000 is expected for the Cali Roots party.
Guests don’t have to stay downtown to enjoy the festival, especially when you can find a great deal on accommodations at Grande Cayman Resort just a few miles away. Located on the north side of town, Grande Cayman allows its guests the luxury of spending the day soaking up the sun, fun and music at the festival, then coming back to Grande Cayman to unwind after the show.
Featuring a wide variety of condo-style units, floor plans and views, Grande Cayman’s rooms and suites can accommodate parties of any size. Shuttles carry patrons to the downtown district to see the show, and return you to Grande Cayman for a relaxing dip in the pool, hot tub or lazy river. Enjoy great on-site dining at Due South at 72nd’s and the Turtle Bay Cafe and chill out on the oceanfront deck or your private balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the perfect way to end a full day of reggae music.
Adding to the anticipation for this year’s event is the fact that fans have been waiting six months to see this showcase. Originally, the event was scheduled for October 2015, when heavy rains and record flooding struck throughout the state of South Carolina and forced the show to be postponed. Rather than hold the festival later in the fall, organizers opted to wait until the spring for a makeup date. Now the show will go on, and this year’s lineup is equally impressive as last.
Headlining the show is 311, which has developed a huge following among reggae and rock circles. Crossover hits like “All Mixed Up”, “Down”, “How Do You Feel” and “Come Original” have enjoyed chart success. 311 has packed much larger houses than the outdoor venue in downtown Myrtle Beach so a large and festive crowd is expected to see the headliner rock into the night.
Opening bands include the Virginia-based Grammy-nominated group SOJA; Southern California quartet Stick Figures; and a popular regional band based out of Savannah, GA, known as Passafire. Several local and regional bands will get their shots on stage, including Fortunate Youth, the Fear Nuttin’ Band, The Movement, New Kingston, Sun Dried Vibes, and Treehouse.
The gates to the Cali Roots festival open at 10:30 a.m., and fans are encouraged to arrive earlier to stake out a spot on the grass. Patrons can bring beach blankets for comfortable seating, although most fans spend their time dancing instead of lounging. Guests can pay an upcharge for VIP tickets, which include special seating and hospitality. Concessions and vendor tents are available and there’s plenty of space for dancing or chilling out while experiencing the great music and vibes.
Tickets are $70 for general admission and $140 for VIP passes if purchased in advance. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the gate on the day of the show.