15 August 2019
Seven days of meetings and re-meetings. Exchanging experiences and absorbing culture. Exploring new musical recommendations and enjoying equal parts the legacy of the legends of the reggae scene. Seven days of raising awareness and learning. Uniting feelings. Holidays with friends or family right on the sea. All of this in a festival, which happens from 16th to 22nd August, in the form of the international reggae competition Rototom Sunsplash. Benicàssim will be turned into the world’s reggae capital, in a cultural epicentre, with an extra helping of environmental engagement. The 2019 edition, Stand up for Earth, kicks off. The 26th edition. Here’s a whole host of reasons to (re)discover it.
100 concerts. Seven stages
From the Main Stage to the Lion Stage, passing by the African Stage, the Jumping stage, Caribbean Uptempo and two other classics of the festival: Dub Academy and the Dancehall. Seven musical platforms where the festival completes its first decade in Spain, having arrived from Italy in the summer of 2010. It will range from reggae, dancehall and dub to the music of black roots, the deepest Caribbean rhythms (with the sounds of 2-tone, ska and cumbia taking the lead), also passing through the DJ sessions of afrobeat and coupé-décalé.
A worldwide line-up with female influence and special shows
Artists from 23 countries (Jamaica, Panama, USA, Japan, UK, Italy, Netherlands, France, Angola and Ghana, among others) make the line-up of Rototom Sunsplash 2019. The festival will receive well known Jamaicans such as the Grammy award winning son of Bob Marley; Ziggy Marley, the heir of reggae music in the 21st century; Chronixx, the creative dancehall DJ; Busy Signal, the profound voice of Bushman, the first family of modern reggae; Morgan Heritage, as well as the passionate rasta vocalist Anthony B, without forgetting the veteran group Israel Vibration and Kenyatta Hill representing Culture.
The 2019 line-up will also feature legends of reggae celebrating anniversaries, like the 50 years of the rastafari group The Abyssinians, 45 years of the progressive reggae band Third World, as well as the four decades of the ska music of The Selecter and the prophetic rastas Misty in Roots. The musical melting pot of Rototom will let the public enjoy the richness of women’s empowerment with the versatile rasta vocalist Queen Ifrica, the first lady of reggae; Marcia Griffiths, the Jamaican singer-songwriter Jah9, as well as the velvety sounds of Lila Ike y Sevana, under the production of Protoje. In addition, this edition will witness the return of soundtracks from classic reggae films (Babylon and Rockers), add other worldwide artists to the line-up such as the Californian band Slightly Stoopid, the French hip-hop collective L’Enterloop and will dance together with the international artists who will visit three of the sound system areas.
A musical wink to 10 years of Rototom in Spain
2019 marks ten years of Rototom in Spain and to honour this date and celebrate the growth of Spanish reggae, Green Valley return to Benicàssim with a concert where special guests will join them in the closing ceremony of the Stand up for Earth edition on 22nd August. Also representing national reggae, Macaco from Barcelona will appear on the Main Stage, bringing a fusion of reggae, rumba and funk. Alongside them, Iseo and Dodosound with the Mousehunters, as well as the harmonic trio from Madrid; Emeterians. Women Solider is a female project, a powerful exhibition of the wide range of female artistic expressions in the world of reggae and dub under the production of Chalart58.
‘Green’ awareness to take care of the planet
The slogan Stand up for Earth is core to the 2019 edition and revolves around actions to put into practice to protect the planet, involving and disseminating information to the public in this challenge. The complete elimination of plastic – with more water points at reasonable prices and a reusable cup system – combines with other projects such as barter areas to reduce waste and a donation campaign to fight food waste. Talks, workshops on recycled materials, films with a message and eco-activities for all the family increase the tools available to everyone to make another world possible.
So much to do between concerts
The festival area brings 40 food stands to enrich pallets. Japanese and Chinese kitchens, Senegalese dishes, fusion of food from Ethiopia and Ivory Coast, North African sweets, along with offerings from Peru, Colombia and Argentina; rice dishes and other traditional Valencian sandwiches, as well as a range of vegan and vegetarian dishes fill the menu this year. The new ‘gastro’ is called Pura Vida, a space dedicated to alternative drinks. Between snacks and concerts, a good idea is to visit the Reggae University and explore the legends and future of the Jamaican genre through films and debates, or walk around the market, which unites dozens of stands, selling artisan jewellery, cosmetics, organic fabric wares in a range of styles, from urban to rasta, etc. Also, you could dare to try a yoga session, or singing and body expression workshops in Pachamama. Those who prefer the beach can give everything in the dancehall classes of Solé Rototom Beach, the official beach bar of the festival in Gurugú beach.
Experiencing the festival as a family
Is it possible to have a family holiday in such a big festival? Rototom Sunsplash makes it a reality. The cultural offering and activities welcomes diving into the reggae zone of Rototom each summer as a family. These include areas such as Magicomundo, Rototom Circus and Artesano Market, along with the comforts of the site, and the camping; which has family plots in the shaded area of the camp site.
International social movements, one step away
The Social Forum and Ataya, the debating space in African Village, welcome the opportunity to get to know the steps and actions of key social movements such as the rapid growth of the student collective fighting climate change Fridays for Future or the anti-racist campaign #WeareMore. Ecofeminism and the indigenous struggle to save the Amazon – in the voice of the leader Sonia Guajajara – will also have a special echo in this edition.
A festival for everyone
The festival offers free tickets for children under 13, the over 65’s and people with disabilities over 65%, together with a companion. It also has adapted facilities. People registered as residents in Benicàssim have a 50% discount on tickets, and the unemployed can access the venue on August 20 for 5 euros.
Ensuring access to safe leisure for everyone and a festival free of sexist, racist or LGB discriminatory behaviours and aggressions is the objective of the Respect Point, which will be installed next to the non-profit area from August 16 to 22 between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.