Workshops never stop their activities and we try to check all of them every day. Besides the already mentioned Reggae University, the Social Forum is another institution that keeps the visitors posted about what's happening worldwide. The motto is “Freedom and Dignity” and articipants of international relevance are here to give their contribute. Debates and documetaries are the way to share experiences and points of view about everything that concerns our lives as world’s citizens. For eight days the Social Forum will give updates about the contemporary struggles that today can affect us all. The program offers inquiries into themes as the climate change, the violation of LGTB people’s rights in the world, the importance of an conscious education in order to change the world.
Before the concerts we had the chance to meet young Runkus, performing today on the Showcase Stage. Romario Bennett, son of the great disc jokey Determine, has a fine taste in music. His reggae has many R&B influences, together with Hip Hop explorations, reaching almost the same heights of "Jr. Gong" music. He told us about the importance he gives to move constantly in the universe of music, aiming for different styles and feelings, as it’s the heart the guides his musical production. His latest album “Move In” (2016) surely represents very well his ideas, for it is a fine mix of reggae and ambitious vibes. Runkus walked and danced on stage confident as a true professional, creating an immediate good relation with both musicians and crowd. The dance floor was almost empty in the beginning, but Runkus & Old Skl Bond successfully called everyone to enjoy the music as soon as they started! Songs like Move Yuh Feet, Energy and Kindness are going to be always remembered by Rototom’s audience.
Ijahman Levi started the night at the Main Stage, he chanted evergreens as Are We A Warrior and Africa Crisis, just like a true reggae ambassador. We remember also I Am A Levi, a song about his Rastafarian conversion as a youth.
Then came the turn of Green Valley, a Catalan group that made a great performance with hits from their latest works Hijos de la Tierra (2014) and Ahora (March 2016). As Macaco was yesterday, we can consider this group another example of the great Spanish presence here at the festival. Many aficionados came here to listen to their idols in such special setting. Is Rototom showing us his love for Spain? If Green Valley is able to gather so many people, we don’t know what to expect for guests as Damian Marley and Manu Chao in the next days! Just imagine the many hands in the air like flags captured by the music, opening every frontier as they wish for their music.
Then a Big Mountain came on stage! The band from Usa is back with a brand new album, Perfect Summer, much awaited after 14 years of silence in studio. Their performance was a perfect specimen of roots reggae enriched by a bluesy touch. Uplifting guitar solos and Joaquin Quino McWhinney’s voice put everyone in a palpable sentimental mood. Singing in both spanish and english, Busca la Luz and Calling You Out were the songs that made them closer minute by minute to the audience’s heart.
We must mention the short appearance of Dada Yute on the Main Stage, because this talented brazilian singer kept the vibes positive during the break. It's surely merit of his remarkable performance at the Showcase Stage yesterday, give this guy a shot! His latest work Zion Bird (2016) is a collection of good uplifting vibes.
In conclusion Israel Vibration & the Roots Radics came on stage. These never old musicians brought us back to the best jamaican rockers' days and Cecil “Skeleton” Spence proved to be still a great showman, dancing like his crutches were just additional legs and arms. He shared his energy with all of us throughout a selection of the all-time classics as Cool & Calm and Strength Of My Life, then presenting tunes from the awaited 18th album Play It Real (2015), played in Tosh-quoting style songs as Ganja, Wha It Name, IRS.
Even though the vibes already fulfilled us, we decided to visit the Dub Academy on the way to the camping. The sound system was well handled by crews from UK: Fat Bird Recordings featuring Kobo, the surprising Evermoor Sound, Dub Wise is the tune that brought many to the dance floor. In conclusion Maasai Warrior, a sound system from Bristol that made us end our second day rightly, dancing until sunrise.