One Love One Heart Fest 2019 in Photos
Photos by © Lee Abel Photography
Article by Rasta Stevie Smith
For California’s central valley, all Labor Day roads led to the The One Love One Heart Festival, a culmination of a decade of commitment, hard work and the belief in the power of Reggae music as a transformational gathering medium. Set in the quiet town of Woodlands, just north of Sacramento, the festival’s paved parking lot made for an easy and dustless entry. The sweeping Fairgrounds field, lined with but a few vendors, was a green and soft, grassy oasis.
From their new location in Davis CA, Crucial Vibes Unlimited displayed a culture shop to behold. But we dead fi hungry until sunset, when a beautiful Ethiopian feast arrived near the shaded VIP area. Every posse formed a line and the food gone quick. All the while, Kutchie had an incognito rogue Jamaican restaurant backstage as good as anything in yard. Patties galore, including the elusive ackee patties, authentic rice and peas and more!
The photo pit was a who’s who in the northern California/Oregon/Nevada reggae industry, a testimonial to the OG support team relishing in the festival’s Caribbean based lineup.
Saturday was the most well-attended day of the festival, and rightly so, with rare performances by Sevana and Lila Ike, both members of Protoje’s Indiggnation camp. Approachable and full a talent, these captivating youthfull empresses are recognized front runners from Jamaica’s fresh crop of new rising women. The charismatic, Guyanian born Arkaingelle shined his Caribbean/South American light with humble brightness. The eastern Caribbean Capitol of reggae, the US VI, was in the house with the legend Abja who delivered the lost, deep roots, relaxed sound St Croix has re-enlivened.
A shining new riser from Portmore,Jamiaca, Fyakin debuted anthemic hits from his sophomore release New Wave, An artist to watch for, Fyakin joined Anthony B for a crucial cameo. Once again Anthony B, performing as a make up for his no show last year, once again proved that he is a top a top reggae entertainer few can test.
Special large up to the selectors who kept the festival lively. Quality song selections from house selectors Dj Nice and Dj Souljah of Deeply Rooted Sound outta St Croix were the staple and guest djs included Zion Roots, Irie Selecta, Dub Fyah, DJ Keyz and DJ Upright. Although the selections were crowd pleasers, festival selectors should consult with/listen to other selectors sets to avoid repeating the same songs.
Sunday’s notable performances included the sweet voice of Melodia Rose, the ever stylish veteran, Sister “Queen of the Bay” I-Live and Richie “Earth a Run Red” Spice, rescheduled from Saturday due to Dorian’s airport closures.
Special mention to Sunday’s savior, multitask-er Pato Banton. Bouncing from engineer on the sound board to lighting installer to stage hand to spiritual advisor and baby caressor, to impromptu emcee. he delivered for his paid position, endearing entertainer with a positive message. His onstage gathering of dancing youths from the audience sealed the deal. If you seek a role model, look no further than Pato “Born and Grown a England” Banton. He sets the standard!!!
The festival industry continues to transform. With the 2019 loss of Reggae on the River and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. our hope is greatness for next year’s festival season for all. Blessings of health to Warren Smith and strength and perseverance to Gretchen and family. Long live the intention of Carol Bruno, so the Mateel Community Center can prosperously reignite Reggae on the River.
Big love and raspect to One Love One Heart promoter Denise “Tata” Carter and her son Deion alongside a pleasant and accommodating krewe, for upping the ante for the 10th I-nniversary. The magic numbers 2020 plus 11 are poised for greatness.