Reggae fans across the country came together this past weekend for the annual mid-winter event, One Love Cali Fest in Long Beach, CA. The concert brings attendees a variety of mostly reggae, along with a bit of ska punk, alternative rock and rap music, held in the beautiful park right beside The Queen Mary in the Port of Long Beach. Popular reggae music, California culture, and good energy make this festival one of the most popular reggae festivals in the country.
The festival has been known in the past for putting on an astounding reggae lineup, and this year was no different. Artists included Rebelution, Stick Figure, Mike Love, Matisyahu, SOJA, Dispatch, J Boog, Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid, Hire, Iration, Atmosphere, Sublime with Rome and many more. Over 45 artists attended the festival bringing only good vibes, and of course “One Love” for the reggae music.
There are two stages at the event, the main stage beside the water and the SMKFLWR stage with the Queen Mary sitting behind the stage in the background. The top headliners are usually held at main stage, while the roots reggae music was held by the stage next to the Queen Mary.
Food vendors are located in front of both stages, and there are a variety of offerings from some of the best food trucks and restaurants in Los Angeles. We enjoyed tacos from one of our favorite food trucks called “Pink Taco“. We felt the best deal on the menu called the “Street Gang” was the 1 Burrito or 3 Tacos, chips & avocado salsa, and drink for $20. Or, you can choose to purchase the items individually. You can check out Pink Taco‘s entire menu here.
Merchandise vendors were located around and in front of the SMKFLWR stage. Many different styles of bags, hoodies, hats, cell phone cases, and more were being offered in the Pan-African colors (Red, Yellow, & Green). The was also CBD products for sale in front of the main stage by event sponsor, Koi CBD. We snagged some CBD gummies and CBD oil to enjoy during the festival. For a full list of Koi CBD‘s products click here.
Friday Night 2/8 Highlight
Things were just getting started on Friday, but heated up quickly with performances such as Mike Love, who really set the tone of a forgettable weekend. One of Mike Love‘s most popular song named “Permanent Holiday”, was played. Mike Love shouted out to the crowd “Knowledge is Power!”, as he spoke the lyrics of the powerful song. Songs and experiences like this, are what reggae music is about – influencing others by explaining life through music and coming up with lyrics that are not always easy to come up with in the day-to-day.
Saturday Night 2/9 Highlight
Saturday night had so many great performances, just like each day at the concert so it was hard for us to pick our favorite. Matisyahu, SOJA, Dirty Heads, and Slightly Stoopid were our personal favorites. We felt this day had the widest variety of different styled music which made it exciting. One Love Cali Fest did a great job of choosing the artist slots to make the concert engaging throughout, with so much variety there was never a dull moment.
Sunday Night 2/10 Highlight
This year, the festival featured Sublime with Rome for their first time performing at the event. Sublime’s hometown is Long Beach, CA, and seemed extremely excited about the opportunity to perform back where it started, in the LBC. There are many Sublime fans that exist still today in the world, and it is incredible that singer Rome Ramirez is helping keeping the legacy alive along with members of Sublime. The band had an mind-blowing performance, the music sounded the exact same as the original songs that former singer Bradley who died, had originally created. The ska punk band closed the concert on Sunday night with tons of energy, the crowd was loving it.
There is no other festival like One Love Cali Fest in Southern California during this time of year. Although the weather can be a little chilly, as long as you dress warm and come with good vibes it will be an amazing time. The lineup, venue, and energy make this concert truly something special. For more information on One Love Cali Fest visit their website here.
Picture 1 Credit (Stage): Joesph Baura
Picture 2 Credit & Featured Image (Stage 2): Andrew Gomez
Picture 3 Credit (Mike Love): Andrew Gomez
Picture 4 (Matisyahu): Andrew Gomez
Picture 5 Credit (SOJA): Alicia Hauff