The music festival landscape for 2017 has been taking shape over the past several weeks and is rendering itself near completion, as lineups continue to be announced for various festivals scattered throughout the year. Featuring 39 of the most distinguished and well-known bands and artists today, California Roots Music & Arts Festival may already be the festival of the year within the reggae community.
Entering its seventh year, Cali-Roots is no stranger to the festival circuit -– each year proves to be bigger than the last for the fan-favorite event in Monterey, CA taking place this year May 26-28th. The festival continues to grow and gain visible expansion in many areas (19 more bands to perform in 2017 than its inaugural year), especially with its inclusion of prominent hip-hop and rap artists.
The previous two years for Cali-Roots included Cypress Hill and Atmosphere, and 2017 will feature NAS and Jurassic 5 to the delight of many. Of course, the reggae lineup will prove to be extremely difficult for other festivals to match, with Rebelution, Dirty Heads, SOJA, Iration, Thievery Corporation, Stick Figure at the top of the bill, alongside many others.
The full lineup for California Roots Music & Arts Festival 2017 will include:
Nahko (And Medicine for the People)
Easy Star All Stars
John Brown’s Body
Through The Roots
Roots of Creation
The Late Ones
Skanks Roots Project
Live Sets to Catch:
While the bands at the top of the lineup as mentioned above are sure to electrify and amaze, Cali-Roots features an incredibly deep lineup with many bands who are not to be overlooked. As fans and attendees are planning which sets they will be catching upon the release of the schedule, here are some artists to circle and familiarize with before the festival kick-off:
Artist: Unified Highway
Origin: San Francisco, CA
Why You Should See Them: Eric Rachmany is very used to the pedal-to-the-metal mentality, and California Roots should prove to be no different for the vocalist/guitarist. In addition to Rebelution headlining the entire festival, Rachmany will also be joining Amp Live for a set with their side-project, Unified Highway. For those who have not yet had the chance to let Unified Highway serenade their eardrums, listeners are encouraged to check out their debut self-titled record from March 2016, as well as a recent cover of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” that was released in December 2016. Expect an overarching reggae-driven sound incorporating electronic synth, hip-hop influences and plenty of bass. Fans are encouraged to ensure they do not miss out!
WATCH: Unified Highway – “My Only” (feat. Busy Signal)
Artist: The Late Ones
Origin: Laie, Hawaii
Why You Should Catch Them: The Late Ones have become a family affair -– literally and figuratively. Raised in Gardena, CA and based in Hawaii, brothers Tui and Tau Avei alongside cousin Josh Brunson founded The Late Ones and have quickly accumulated quite the following with their roots reggae elements, incorporated with their exploration of R&B, jazz and hip-hop. The Late Ones (with the name paying tribute to all late, great revolutionaries who have come and gone) released their debut EP Revelate in May 2015. The trio also released a new single package in June 2016 to include “Thrive” and “Thunder & Sun” which have also received a warm reception. The Late Ones recently announced the first leg of their “Rising Tour 2017” and will also be performing at One Love Cali Fest and Reggae Rise Up prior to Cali-Roots Fest. Feel the Roots with The Late Ones — Don’t sleep on their set!
WATCH: The Late Ones – “Thunder & Sun” [Live with Sugarshack Sessions]
Origin: Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica
Why You Should Catch Him: Since the release of his debut album The Seven Year Itch in 2011, Protoje (Oje Ken Ollivierre) has been steadily advancing up the charts of reggae music with each passing year. Having charted at #1 on the Reggae Billboard charts in March 2015 with his latest Ancient Future, Protoje continues to tour extensively and generate new fans everywhere he stops. Most recently, he has been featured at other high-level events such as the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Coachella, Summerjam and other festivals across Europe and Germany. Listeners can expect to hear music that will be comprised of roots rock reggae with additional dub tones. Protoje performed at California Roots for the first time in 2016, and will be returning this year to excite crowds once again!
WATCH: Protoje – “Who Knows” (feat. Chronixx)
Artist: Rising Appalachia
Origin: Atlanta, GA
Why You Should Catch Them: Mellow out and unwind with the folky-acoustic, ambient jams from Rising Appalachia. Another family band featuring sisters Leah and Chloe Smith who are joined on tour by their drummer Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, Rising Appalachia have become a notable name within the music industry. The band is also known for their widespread support of the environment having recently announced their new project “The Slow Music Movement” to help emphasize sustainable touring practices for others to follow. The band has greatly developed their sound since their initial release, Leah And Chloe, in 2006 and fans are encouraged to check out their latest album, Wider Circles, from 2015. Don’t miss this set, as Cali-Roots is currently their only confirmed US Date of 2017.
WATCH: Rising Appalachia – “Medicine”
Origin: Kingston, Jamaica
Why You Catch See Him: Remember Yellowman?! It’s possible Yellowman’s music will be older than the majority of attendees at Cali-Roots 2017. Considered by many as a trail blazer for reggae music, the 61-year-old Yellowman (Winston Foster) has been touring and writing music for years promoting his unique reggae dancehall vibes for all to enjoy. He may have also crafted one of the most fun-to-say successful songs in history -– “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng” -– which the music video can be found directly below. The song was considered highly-influential upon its release in 1983, as significant artists within the hip-hop and reggae community sampled the rhythm section of the track in their songs (including Notorious B.I.G., Sublime, Mos Def and Talib Kweli). We always hear, year-after-year, that do to his health, this may be the last time you get to catch Yellowman live. So fit this into your schedule and give some big ups to King Yellowman for still performing!
WATCH: Yellowman – Zungguzungguguzungguzeng
California Roots Details:
Cali Roots has become much more than just a music festival -– it has cemented itself as a movement. Reggae-rock and hip-hop enthusiasts from across the nation will be coming together for three days of incredible music, community and memories to last a lifetime. Between catching an incredible live performance from one of the above-mentioned bands and artists, Cali-Roots attendees will have the option to participate in live painting, check out the art and wine retreat, yoga sessions, after dark lounge and much more.
In addition, several options for accessibility have already been made available for attendees. While the option for camping directly onsite at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in unavailable, Cali-Roots has partnered with the Laguna Seca campgrounds (which is only 10 minutes away) to offer shuttles to and from the festival for those who wish to camp for the weekend. 3 Day General Admission passes are available for $200 (plus fees), and Cali-Roots is also pleased to offer their VIP 3 Day Redwood package to festival attendees for $450 (plus fees). The Redwood package includes a custom-designed T-shirt, two Redwood lounge passes with full bars and discounted drinks, snacks and swag from festival sponsors, elevated viewing options and more.
Full details for ticket purchase is available at the official website listing below. With a stacked lineup and exciting activities with reggae enthusiasts in attendance from across the nation, California Roots Music & Arts Festival 2017 is not to be missed!
Watch: California Roots 2017 – Final Artist Announcement