Rototom Sunsplash passes its halfway mark with more than 100,000 participants and the awaited reunion of The Wailers
The majority of the original members of Bob Marley’s band will get on the Main Stage this Thursday, joined by Mellow Mood, Hempress Sativa and Black Roots
Bombino and Lutan Fyah jump onto Lion Stage while in the African Village will bring the public closer to the African continent through the music of Mehdi Nassouli
Benicàssim | Wednesday, 16 August 2017
With a halfway point that has seen over 100,000 people from 98 countries pass through the Celebrating Africa edition –between Sunday and Tuesday– Rototom Sunsplash lines up its last 72 hours of intense activity.
The sixth day of the reggae festival will take place this Thursday 17th August, a day of musical reunions: that of the original members of The Wailers. Four decades after Bob Marley sang Africa Unite and received the UN Peace Medal in 1978 from the Senegalese Youth Ambassador; his original band is coming back the most African edition in the history of the festival. The original members of The Wailers; Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett (bass), Tyrone Downie (keyboard), Junior Marvin and Donald Kinsey (guitars), will get together on the Main Stage to play some of the music that changed the world and inspired African independence.
Aston Barrett Junior will be on the drums, the son of Familyman, and, representing the new generation, Shema McGregor, the daughter of the composer of The I Threes, Judy Mowatt y de Freddie McGregor, will join the chorus. Completing the gathering will be Dennis Thompson, the sound engineer responsible for the sound of The Wailers in venues and studios for most of the 70’s, as well as Noel Davey as the second keyboard player.
Benicassim, 2017-08-15. Gentleman & Ky-Mani Marley (Main Stage). Photo by: Tato Richieri © Rototom Sunsplash 2017.
Hours before their show on the musical stage, they will appear at the Reggae University where the talk, Africa Unite, will welcome the opportunity to listen to the original Wailers in conversation with John Masouri, author of the book Wailing Blues: Bob Marley’s Wailers.
The Main Stage will also host Mellow Mood on Thursday. The past winners of the Italian “Reggae Contest” will return to share the music with which they have triumphed internationally and whose success has been supported by the Rototom crowd. Last but not least, the stage will shine with the feminine energy of the singer and rasta DJ, Hempress Sativa and will be shaken by the heavyweight bass of the Bristol band, Black Roots.
Benicassim, 2017-08-15. Nakany Kante (Lion Stage). Photo by: Erika Ghezzi © Rototom Sunsplash 2017.
Representing Africa, the virtuoso tuareg guitarist, Níger Bombino, will touch down on the Lion Stage. He will also play a leading role at the Reggae University, with the premier of Agadez. The music and the rebellion, which will tell his story. Lutan Fyah, the DJ from Spanish Town, will carry the standard of Jamaican music this Thursday.
Benicassim, 2017-08-15. Cuentos africanos (Magicomundo). Photo by: Erika Ghezzi © Rototom Sunsplash 2017.
The African Village will be another of the cultural epicentres of the festival this Thursday. The space will bring Africa closer to the public through music, with shows from artists such as; Mehdi Nassouli, who will exhibit a musical style bound to the tradition of his country and gnawa culture, as well as la moda. Authentic African wax fabrics, their origin, what they mean and the symbolism of their colours and patterns will be the main theme of the fashion show (at 18:30), organized by United Minds and the tailor, Bissap, with the collaboration of Doni-Doni Afrowear y Farafina.
Benicassim, 2017-08-15. La diplomacia africana en la resolucion de conflictos – dialogo con el premio Nobel de la Paz 2015 (Foro Social). Photo by: Luca Valenta © Rototom Sunsplash 2017.
The Social Forum will host a new double bill. Firstly, with the debate The African alternative for sustainable innovation, lead by the journalists and members of the NGO Agritools: Elisabetta Demartis and Mikaila Issa. They will analyse the role that information and communication technology plays in the transformation of African agriculture. Secondly, the talk Afropolitans and Pan-Africanists. The contribution of the diaspora in Europe, will include the Somali actress and singer based in Italy, Saba Anglana, the Senegalese writer, Mamadou Dia, as well as the professor and antiracism activist, Remi Joseph-Salisbury.