Rhythm and Roots hit the Big Easy
The annually anticipated Nola Reggae Fest makes its return this Friday, October 14 at Congo Square. The fun begins at 4pm and fails to cease until Sunday, October 16 at 8 p.m. A variety of enjoyment can be expected beyond music. Food, drinks, and art vendors are sure to bring the best vibes for a weekend. Local and national artists alike can be expected to perform at the two music sections at the venue.
Bring a beach chair, grab a beer, and dance the evening away. Reggae Fest is sure to provide amusement for all ages. Tickets range from $5-125 and can be purchased here.
A Connection of Culture and Commitment
The significance and symbolism of the Reggae Fest being held right by the corner of Armstrong Park is one that should not go unnoticed or unmentioned. Congo Square is an open space that has stood as a place for congregation for both freed and enslaved individuals of color, dating back since the 19th century. Here, they would have meetings, set up markets, and even took part in African dancing and drumming activities.
When most think of Reggae, they think of Bob Marley & The Wailers. However, its impact and inspiration goes further. Posing as one of the focal influences on modern Jazz, the Reggae genre was founded in Jamaica around the 1940s and 50s by those who were oppressed and felt their voices were silenced. They originally shaped their music around love and lighthearted matters. However, entering the late 1960s, social criticisms highlighting religion and the Rastafarianism movement became more prevalent in the Reggae genre (this is where the rise of Bob Marley & The Wailers comes in).
Like Jazz, Reggae has posed as a vessel of culture and connection for people of color for decades. It is thanks to them that we get to experience the wonders of music and rhythm in our hearts and in our souls. For this reason, hosting the Reggae Fest at Congo Square is both an honorable and respectful decision on behalf of the city of New Orleans.