Hainault reggae festival promises unity and love
PUBLISHED: 14:55 23 July 2016
A reggae festival is promoting a message of peace and love as it returns for its ninth year in September.
A reggae festival is promoting a message of peace and love as it gets ready to return for its ninth year.
The One Love Festival, which is named after the infamous Bob Marley concert in 1978, features reggae and dub artists from across the UK and Jamaica.
The three-day extravaganza will take place at Hainault Forest Country Park, Fox Burrow Road, Hainault, from September 2-4.
Reggae and dub lovers can expect a line-up filled with old favourites and upcoming artists, including headliners 80-year-old Lee “Scratch” Perry, roots reggae singer Max Romeo and Natty.
Singer-songwriter Natty, an up-and-coming reggae artist, said he was excited to mix with some old-school performers.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I’m planning to play a mixture of old stuff and new music from my album, which came out this year.
“It’s a great festival, I really thought it would just be full of reggae-heads but the audience was full of people who just love festivals, which made for a nice mix.
“You don’t always get to see people at these concerts, but I’d like to run into Lee and Max Romeo.
“I’ve worked with them both before so it’s always great to run into them again.”
More than 100 acts will perform over the three days, at the UK’s only reggae festival where attendees can camp on-site.
Prince Hammer, a reggae DJ and singer, said he was excited to return to London, since his last visit in 1984.
He said: “I’m excited to perform for everyone.
“I’ve always been a showman and this will be all about giving the audience a good time.
“I’m planning to perform a lot of my older stuff.”
Brinsley Forde, former lead singer of ‘80s reggae group Aswad, said everyone should be very excited.
“It’s a very special festival,” he told the Recorder.
“I think it’s very important to be able to celebrate this music and the line-up is just incredible.
“It’s taken me back in time.”
At the Bob Marley concert in 1978, the performer persuaded two political rivals, Jamaican prime minister Michael Manley and opposition leader Edward Seaga, to hold hands on stage.
The gesture was reported all over the world and helped solidify Marley’s reputation as a peace-loving artist.
Festival organiser Dan Wiltshire said the event was all about people celebrating together.
“It’s a celebration of love, peace and unity,” he told the Recorder.
“It’s where people can get together and be with like-minded people.
“It’s bigger and better than it’s ever been before.”
On the final day of the festival, a choir from Stratford will perform Marley’s songs with a twist.
Fola Phillips, founder of Reggae Choir, said: “We are very excited.
“This festival really is Bob Marley’s legacy and it is a lot of fun for us to perform at.
“Our choir’s style is very unique and we perform all different types of reggae, including the classic sounds of Marley.
“We also perform reggae-fied versions of pop songs, from UB40 to Marvin Gaye.”
Fola, who formed the choir in 2012, said the group’s unique style fits in nicely with the One Love Festival ethos.
She said: “There is no other choir like us, so it fits in for us to be performing at the UK’s biggest reggae and dub festival.
“After learning about it, I cold-called Dan and he invited us to perform. Now we’re excited to return for the third time.”
If the music isn’t relaxing enough, campers can enjoy the vibes of the healing and chill-out zone, where they can receive a massage and practise yoga.
Cosmic laughter workshops will also be running, featuring laughing exercises combined with breathing techniques and meditation.
There will be a wide range of food stalls and festivalgoers can try out “glamping” in a yurt, equipped with airbeds and scatter cushions.
Weekend camping tickets start from £140 for adults, £80 for teenagers and £40 for children.
To purchase tickets, visit onelovefestival.co.uk/buy-tickets-now.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.