So there may have been a couple new perks added like a 38m Ferris wheel and an app developed exclusively for this year’s festival but Reggae Jam 2014 however still remained cool. Yes, cool, cool in a way that only Reggae Jam has managed to seamlessly pull off for twenty years now in a row and cool in a way to have a cult following of festival goers who make the yearly pilgrimage to this tiny little town, almost in the middle of nowhere. The 20th anniversary of Reggae Jam in picturesque Bersenbrück went off last weekend with very few glitches. Friendly staff, variety of food options, comfortable camping options, clean bathrooms, good crowd control and an amazing reggae line up plus Jamaican like weather made for one very irie festival!
The line-up included high energy performances from Ky-Mani Marley, Shaggy, Luciano, Mad Cobra, I-Octane, Errol Dunkley and several more Jamaican and international performers as well as – Lady Saw and Marion Hall.
Performances were top of the line, despite a few artists having problems with the band. Luciano was acrobatic at best, Errol Dunkley crooned smoothly, Shaggy was bombastic as ever, Ky-Mani Marley´s voice has really matured to sound like his father and brought chills to the crowd because of this, Mad Cobra stayed true to his name to name, just to name a few… I-Octane brought up very willing audience members during his lengthy but entertaining performance and Marion Hall – well Lady Saw to be more accurate, brought up audience members as well.
Marion Hall entered on stage with luscious long wavy curls and a blue hooded jacket over a skinny white pants. She had in fact warned the crowd that she was no longer performing as Lady Saw but as her given name Marion Hall and would perform as such, to the slight dismay of the crowd. Though the first 20 minutes of her performance was good and the crowd swayed to the sounds, of a couple of gospel songs and love ballads. But it wasn’t until Marion ripped off her wig and through off her jacket, that the crowd erupted. She ended her performance by bringing on two audience members on stage, teaching the stunned but very curious German audience the art of Jamaican seduction aka “grinding”.
Though it has become recently quite common for summer reggae festivals to showcase and in some cases even headline hip-hop, rap and pure soul acts, the Reggae Jam line-up remained pure Reggae. Although, still diverse in terms of reggae music ranging from Roots to Dancehall.
The three day festival ended without any real problems despite the heavy presence of the Bersenbrück police force which some would describe as a little too overzealous. Vehicles were stopped, searched and drivers tested not only on departure from the festival but also on arrival to the festival, including press vehicles. This placed a damper on the otherwise very light festive mood that has come to be associated with this particular festival.
Lori hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica and has lived in Virginia, Washington D.C, and New York, but now resides in Düsseldorf, Germany with her German husband Jens. When she isn´t working on her Seed of Style Fashion page, she can be found on her other page Love Crosses Borders. Love Crosses Borders is an international, interracial and intercultural community which focuses on couples and families and singles interested in love across borders. An online dating site focusing mainly on international love is said to be in the works.