THREE days of reggae and big names are coming to Langton Matravers this summer with the Wilkswood Reggae Festival.
Veteran reggae singer Horace Andy will headline the event, which will see reggae legends rub shoulders with upcoming artists and DJs from the UK and abroad.
More than 50 acts will perform across three stages at Wilkswood Farm from Friday to Sunday, July 21-23.
Organiser Dave Mountjoy said: “Each year we look to improve on the previous year’s line-up – and we think we’ve managed that again.”
Horace Andy, now a youthful 72, is one of the most influential and distinctive voices of reggae, and his 2022 album Midnight Rocker made the top ten in all the end-of-year critics’ awards.
He began recording in the late 1960s and in the 1990s contributed to all five albums by trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack.
Other headliners on the main stage include Hollie Cook, once of new wave icons The Slits and daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul, and Kiko Bun with his unique blend of reggae and hip hop.
Roots Daughters, an all-female showcase featuring Sista Aisha, Awa Fall and Redhead QI, and Evidence Music collective featuring Brother Culture will also be in the spotlight.
The Jah Spirit Sound System arena will feature a Tribute to Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti-I and Channel One, making rare appearances outside of street carnivals, to contribute to a ‘Notting-Hill-by-the-Sea’ vibe.
Elsewhere Bass Choir with MC Crazy D, poet Raymond Antrobus and a multitude of sound systems, DJs and producers will perform alongside acoustic and spoken word acts on the outdoor Bang Mix Stage.
The festival also offers a bonus day on Thursday, July 20, for featuring a late night DJ set by Leeds soundsystem Iration Steppas.
Dave Mountjoy added: “The success of Horace Andy’s Midnight Rocker album meant we had to pull out the stops, but we were determined he should be one of our headliners this year. Alongside Hollie Cook, Kiko Bun and the Roots Daughters we have some of the finest live reggae acts in the UK. And, in Aba Shanti-I, Channel One and Iration Steppas, we’ve got some of the best UK sound systems to really contribute to that whole carnival vibe.”
Both the Main Stage and the Soundsystem Arena are under cover, and the festival will have a chill-out zone, street food stalls – including a Jamaican jerk barbecue, wood-fired pizza and vegetarian and vegan options, a main bar and merchandise stalls.
Entertainment for youngsters includes a dedicated children’s field and a wooded clearing featuring storytelling, nature trails and music. Free workshops in beatboxing, urban dance and rap performance will also be held.
The festival is limited to a capacity of 2,500, so organisers say the event is relaxed and intimate, and perfect for families with young children or those who do not like huge crowds.
For tickets, which include camping and parking for three nights, visit www.wilkswoodreggae.com/tickets/