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Tosh to take centrestage at Rootzfest

Friday, December 15, 2017

The work of reggae pioneer Peter Tosh in advocating for the legalisation of ganja will be celebrated this Sunday at Rastafari Rootzfest to be held at the Long Bay Beach Park in Negril.

The three-day expo, which runs from Friday to Sunday, and explores the medicinal, economic and other benefits to be derived from the ganja industry, is now in its third year. Each night will see a strong line-up of musical artistes taking to the stage as part of the festival.

“The entertainment is not the main focus of the event, but we could not have a festival of this nature and not include our own reggae music, as it is our artistes who have over the years shared with the world the benefits of ganja through their lyrics and melodies. On Sunday, we will be dedicating to Peter Tosh, who definitely used his musical skill to defend herb and advocate for its legalisation,” Ras Iyah V of the organising committee told the Splash.

Tosh's grandson, recording artiste Dre Tosh, has been included on the line-up for Sunday's show.

The roster of acts will also feature British rocker and band member of The Who, Zak Starkey and his partner Shhh. Michael Roze, Sly and Robbie, Iyadore, Bescenta, Leroy Sibbles and Ras Irie as well as guitarist Tony Chinn and American brothers Ivan and Cyrill Neville.

The entertainment package gets going on Friday with Ali C, Natasha Stream, Jah Mason, Micah Shemaiah, Admiral Tibet, Tabby of The Mighty Diamonds, and Bushman.

On Saturday the Rastafari Rootzfest stage will see performances from Michie Lee, Lila Ike, Rock Top Band, Iba Mahr, Kabaka Pyramid, and Capleton.

“Even though the music is a complementary part of the event, we still want a good show. As a result, we have, from the first staging, chosen artistes who are revolutionary in their lyrical content. A ganja-focussed event like this is by nature revolutionary, as herb has been stigmatised over the years, and what we are trying to do is look at it in a positive way by examining international trends as it relates to creating financial gains, which is something our musicians have been saying for some time,” noted Ras Iyah V.

— Richard Johnson


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