Yared Tekeste, promoter of the Uppsala Reggae Festival, is pleased with the plans for the annual event which has been held in Sweden since 1995.
A strong line-up of Jamaican artistes has been booked for the two-day festival (July 29 and 30) which is rated as the largest reggae festival in Scandinavia.
“The plans for the festival are going exceptionally well, and everything is flowing accordingly. Max Romeo, Konshens, Morgan Heritage, Kranium, Etana, Mortimer, Micah Shemaiah, and Hempress Sativa. On top of that, we are happy to introduce Zhayna to our crowd, an upcoming artiste whom we really like and believe in. There isn’t really any specific artiste we wanted and weren’t able to book,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
During the two-year break in the physical festival due to the pandemic, Tekeste and his team resorted to a virtual festival joining forces with local acts and beaming live from the legendary Harry J Recording Studio in the Corporate Area. He noted that he is pleased with the way in which the industry has come back after the past two years.
“We thought it was going be tougher for the industry to wake up out of the forced hibernation we had found ourselves in. In the contrary, everybody in the industry is so happy that things started to move, that it seems as if everybody was eagerly waiting for the signal at the start blocks and just shoot off. We even thought that COVID regulations and restrictions would be a major challenge, but none at all so far, things are just working pretty smoothly,” he shared.
Tekeste and his team are keeping busy in a bid to rebound after the past two years. He is promoting a show in Sweden on August 19 featuring reggae legend Burning Spear.
“Our great hero and icon Burning Spear, who had stopped touring in 2016, decided to do few exclusive shows, and of course, were we mighty happy too. We decided to invite a core group of our festival crew and fly down to Rototom to see Burning Spear. While in search of an Airbnb house that could accommodate us all 10, an e-mail came informing us that we were of the selected few who were getting the opportunity to produce one of the nine selected shows in Europe, and if we would be interested. I really thought that this could be a fraudulent e-mail so I had to check around with various people within my network if the e-mail was legit.”
“It was indeed legit, and imagine how happy we got because Burning Spear has a special place in our heart and career, apart from listening to him for ages and loving his music, our first-ever entirely self-produced show was with him in 1990. So now we are happy to be extending our reggae summer by producing Burning Spear’s only show in Scandinavia on the 19th of August, it will be an outdoor show at the same venue we keep the festival, this will be his first show in Scandinavia since he last visited our festival in 2008,” said Tekeste.