The 2009 Reggae Rising Music Festival happened just two weeks ago at Dimmick Ranch in the heart of the Northern California Redwoods, and was a vibrant collage of backwards beats, rasta hues, and easygoing folks.
The event spanned three days, and included camping and swimming in the neighboring Eel River for those who were so inclined. I booked a tent spot at nearby Richardson Grove State Park (which was on the eventï¿½s shuttle route) for a little respite, but full immersion, on-site camping was available for diehards.
Music filled the trees from noon ï¿½til the wee morning hours, with over 30 performers, including The Pyrx Band, Messenjah Selah, and Chezidek, who all requested veg meals. And when you werenï¿½t standing, watching the bands, there was plenty of shade and grass to cop a squat or lay a picnic. The event was also well-equipped with water fountains and recycling bins to help keep people hydrated and the grounds clean.
Tents of food and shopping lined the perimeter of the field to fill various hunger and style needs, and several of these vendors were vegetarian and vegan, including a Thai noodle booth with very tasty vegan dishes. All of their profits went to the Trees Foundation, a non-profit organization that protects the ecology of the North Coast. Cute dresses made from recycled material could be found at Asia & Diego (website coming soon!), and Doja Clothing featured local and organic fashions from Santa Cruz, Calif.
A Reggae Rising weekend shouldnï¿½t pass by without a visit to the nearby town of Garberville, which has a main drag full of eco and veg friendly stores and eateries. I had a yummy Tofu Rancheros breakfast at Woodrose Cafï¿½, before cruising Organic Grace for eco home supplies. Then, I was off for another day full of music and trees.
ï¿½Gabrielle Harradine, Market Editor