We're hitting the ground running for our 20th birthday with another packed FREE, all-ages show for our Ska & Reggae Massive. We wanted to get things started in seriously rhythmic style so we packed Night 1 with those good, good grooves – ska, reggae, hip-hop, soul and funk are all here to help us get our bodies moving and the blood flowing.
Headlining this kickoff extravaganza is Victoria's one and only hip-hop/soul orchestra THE LEG-UP PROGRAM. A true original, this 16-piece funk/soul/hip-hop behemoth is one of the city's most reliable sources of grooves and great musicianship. Fresh off the release of their debut album, you can bet that they're gonna be even more full of energy than usual. Coming from Montreal is phenomenally talented singer and rapper, MERYEM SACI. A member of Montreal's hip-hop gurus Nomadic Massive, Saci's own music is a soulful celebration that mixes hip-hop, r&b, soul, afrobeat and reggae into a potent groove cocktail.
We are also proud to welcome back from California our longtime friends BURNT. With the return of One Drop (on Saturday, June 22), having Burnt back on the festival is a special treat. We helped One Drop and Burnt find each other with My Space (!!!) while trying to find a band to trade California and BC shows. The trade was a rousing success and a lifelong friendship was born. Burnt is a serious part of our Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest history and having them back for our 20th is big! The honour of kicking everything off this year as they take the stage first, is Vancouver 9-piece ska/reggae monster BREHDREN. After opening up for The Slackers in Vancouver this past winter, we pegged these cats as a group that needed to part of Year 20! And last but certainly not least, one of our favourite selectors of all-time, DJ Anger will be on the decks holding it down and keeping things bouncy between sets.
*Don't forget to grab tickets for Dub Pistols (DJ set),Mat the Alien and Greenlaw at Distrikt (19+) right after the harbour and cap night one off proper!*
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The Leg-Up Program (Soulful Indie LeftCoast)
The Leg-Up Program is a collaboration of Victoria artists.
Formed in late 2013 to fill-in for a local block party, The Leg-Up Program tore the roof off with their hip hop funk rock soul orchestra and musical collective with approximately 17+ members who contribute to their huge sound. Made up of members from many other local bands, the collectiv... more info
Meryem Saci is a singer, songwriter and emcee with a vibrant vocal range that reflects the diverse influences of her upbringing. She commands the stage with her powerful voice, and eclectic fusion of sounds ranging from R&B, Hip Hop, Soul/jazz, Reggae to celebrating resilience with primal, high energy Afro-Arabian rhythms.
Meryem explores ways ... more info
Burnt (Reggae/Ska/Punk/Hip Hop)
California-based reggae-rock group BURNT came together in 2002, initially based around Coachella Valley, relocating to San Diego in 2005, and eventually settling in San Francisco. The group's sound combined reggae, dub, ska, soul, hip-hop, punk, and acoustic rock, and featured environmentally and politically conscious lyrics, as well as songs about... more info
With varied musical backgrounds and a combined love of ska and reggae, the nine members of Brehdren bring in elements of jazz, indie pop and progressive rock to create their own unique flavour. Based around a crazy, energetic front man, the rhythm and horn section cover a range of ground, from extended jams to two-minute freak outs. more info