It’s rare that we cover events that don’t have dance music centered around them, but the Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest is always the exception. Every year, the Victoria Ska & Reggae Society bring in the best of the best in reggae, rock, ska, and hip hop to show our little city what’s what, and this year blew it out of the water once again.
While we were only able to cover one or two of the shows, we made the most of them in full force! Friday evening we rocked down to Ship Point to see the legendary Tarrus Riley who, in his short time on stage, covered the classics and new tracks within the genre, all while fusing together reggae and roots rock to keep the crowd moving and grooving the whole time. The man performed with the energy of a brand new performer, with the class and talent of a seasoned veteran.
We then headed down to Sugar Nightclub for a night performance from the inimitable Tonye. Her smooth voice and electric on stage presence kept us enthralled and amazed until the last note. Notably, Tonye is the vocalist for The Funk Hunters travelling band, aside from her tenured solo career, and it was an honour to watch her bring that sass and class to the Sugar stage. We closed off the night with a blistering performance by The Black Seeds, who proved just why they are still performing, and rocking every time.
Saturday was rainy, which put a damper in our plans, but it didn’t stop us from being there bright and early for our friends Illvis Freshly. They hit the stage with guests from all over including Caleb Hart, Jackson Yauck on the drums, and Tejas Colinson on bass guitar, while their DJ Mt. Doyle serenaded us with a falsetto like we’ve never heard. It seems that these boys just continue to get better and better. An interview is on the way, but since we were among friends (and at a very loud stage), some of our footage unusable for the time being. We did manage to top it off with a spaghetti party for the ages, so stay tuned! These boys are only going up, and we’ll be along for the ride!
The final act we saw was the legendary, Mad Caddies. These gents hit the stage with a ferocity you only see from long touring bands, taking us on a journey of all their classic hits, right up to that new stuff. This was a performance that will stick out in our minds for a long time.
Next year our coverage will be much more extensive, but stay on the alert for photos and videos from our team coming through, and we wanna thank the festival for having us out for another amazing year!
Who was at Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest? What were some of you favorite moments? Did anyone catch any of these legends? Let us know in the comments!