Soca music made its debut @calirootsfest via @kesthebandofficial

After booking Kes, including Soca in the mix for the first time ever and observing the reactions to their performance, Good Vibez Presents Founder and Co-Owner, Dan Sheehan is enthusiastic about the possibility of adding another element of the Caribbean Diaspora to the CaliRoots Festival family.

"Cali Roots has always been about building the scene—from the artists, to the fans, to the reggae genre as a whole." Sheehan explained. "I grew up in Hawaii where you could hear a reggae song on FM radio, next to a pop song, or the news broadcast. The genre was so ingrained in the culture of the island and that's the ethos of the whole Good Vibez umbrella." 

Now in it's 14th year and after it's twelfth installment, the California Roots Music Festival is listed as the largest outdoor reggae festival in North America. Staged at the historic and iconic Monterey Country Fairgrounds, (which was the site of Jimmy Hendrix's notorious guitar burning and destruction and is touted as the birthplace of the 70s hippie movement), the much-anticipated four-day extravaganza brought together reggae enthusiasts and music lovers from all corners of the globe.

As a fortunate attendee, I had the opportunity to experience unforgettable performances, rub shoulders with renowned artists, and immerse myself in a vibrant atmosphere brimming with positive energy.

A section of the audience assembled in "The Bowl" at the CaliRoots Music Festival. Click on the IMAGE to visit their website.

The crowd gets their hands up during CollieBuddz' performance @calirootsfest

Kes performed Soca music @calirootsfest for the first-time ever! Click on the IMAGE to visit their website.

CaliRoots Festival Diversity

The festival grounds were a sight to behold, nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of Monterey. With the sun-kissed coastline as a backdrop, attendees were greeted with a sensory overload of color, sound, and culture and the vibrant display of art, craft and culinary delights from various vendors added a delightful twist to the already enticing musical lineup.

The CaliRoots Music Festival is known for curating a stellar roster of reggae performers and this year was no exception. Some of the world's finest reggae and hip-hop artists were billed to take the stage, setting the mood for an electrifying weekend. From the legendary Wu Tang Clan to modern-day reggae torchbearers like Rebelution, SOJA and Collie Buddz, the lineup was a testament to the festival's commitment to showcasing diverse talent.

Interviewing the Wu Tang Clan!

One of the standout moments of the festival was my exclusive interview with the iconic Wu-Tang Clan. This legendary hip-hop collective brought their signature style and magnetic stage presence, captivating the audience with their timeless hits and lyrical prowess. Speaking with members of the group, I gained insight into their creative process and the impact of reggae and Caribbean music on their own musical journey.

"We were introduced to reggae at a young age," said The RZA (Rakeem Diggs), "but we represent hip-hop and its a beautiful thing to see as music evolved and the popularity of all the artistes evolved to where you can get Wu Tang and Cypress Hill along with some of the top reggae acts - it's a beautiful thing."

Michael Franti and Spearhead invited many members of the audience onstage to enjoy their performance. Click on the IMAGE to visit his website

Our Director, Nigel Telesford interviews Wu Tang Clan members, L-R: Masta Killa, RZA and Cappadonna. Click on the IMAGE to READ the story!

Kes represented Soca Music @calirootsfest

However, what truly made this year's CaliRoots Music Festival unique was the introduction of Soca music to the lineup. For the first time ever, Kes The Band from Trinidad and Tobago graced the main festival stage on day three and delivered an explosive performance that had the scattered early afternoon crowd scampering to rush into the bowl and thereafter kept them dancing and singing along. The fusion of reggae and Soca shared by Kes created an incredible blend of Caribbean rhythms, taking the festival's energy to new heights.

"It's shows like these that make the Carnival circuit fun," said Dieffenthaller. "Ah like when it's a new crowd and they're not familiar with the music so we get to teach them first and see how they react and respond and just have fun with it..." for hand-made,

environmentally-friendly & organic Fashions

In addition to the star-studded performances, the festival provided a platform for local, regional and even some international vendors to showcase their wares. From vibrant handmade crafts, garments and accessories to mouthwatering culinary delights, smoothies, juices and desserts, the vendor village was a treasure trove of cultural experiences. Interacting with the vendors allowed us to learn about their stories, passions and the inspiration behind their creations. The crew at Gypsy Jenny's clothing emporium in particular captured our attention daily, as the veteran female designer showcased her organically and earth-friendly-made garments caught the eyes of many festival attendees and patrons.2222

"My goal was always to make fashionable, comfortable clothes that are all organic. I use all organic materials and even use certain plants and trees to make the dyes I color the garments with, so it's all earth-friendly and environmentally safe materials used to create the clothes, which also makes them feel light and be healthier for your body, mind and spirit!"

Our reporter, Chris chats with Jenny Bertolini outside her booth @calirootsfest Click on the IMAGE to visit her website!

CaliRoots Festival: A Must ATTEND Event!

Beyond the musical and cultural offerings, the CaliRoots Music Festival embodied a sense of community and togetherness. Strangers turned into friends as attendees bonded over their shared love for music and/or particular bands/artistes and spread positive vibes throughout the festival grounds. The inclusive and welcoming atmosphere fostered an environment where everyone felt like they belonged and there were no incidents of aggression, violence, conflict or confrontation. The festival PR and Media team facilitated all our needs and requirements and responded promptly to enquiries and specific requests.

After four days of non-stop action and as the sun set on the final day of the festival, I couldn't help but reflect on my incredible journey: from experiencing a totally new part of California, to the fulfilling zen of the festival atmosphere, meeting new people, sharing ideas and back stories, meeting and interviewing the Wu Tang Clan and Sen Dog from Cypress Hill, discovering Michael Franti and Spearhead and their amazingly positive music, The CaliRoots Music Festival had surpassed all expectations, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who attended. It was a celebration of reggae's rich legacy, a testament to the power of music to unite people from diverse backgrounds, and a reminder of the beauty that lies within the Monterey coastline.

In conclusion, the CaliRoots Music Festival in Monterey was an extraordinary celebration of reggae hip-hop, brimming with unforgettable performances, lively vendors and a vibrant atmosphere. This year's introduction of Soca music added an exciting twist to the festival's already diverse lineup, making it an event to remember. Whether you're a die-hard reggae fan or simply someone seeking a musical adventure, CaliRoots should be at the top of your festival bucket list.