Rototom Sunsplash: more than 300 musical and cultural events energize an edition dedicated to peace that today brings down the curtain on its 28th anniversary
The festival closes this Tuesday, August 22, with concerts by UB40 and the premiere of 'The Flamenco World Salutes Bob Marley', a line-up that includes 190 artists from 25 countries over seven days. The programming of the extra-musical areas consolidates Rototom Sunsplash as an experience to be enjoyed also during the day and with the family, with more than 140 activities including debates, talks, screenings, workshops, exhibitions or Afro, urban or dancehall dance sessions.

The international reggae festival Rototom Sunsplash bids farewell this Tuesday, August 22, the seven days that have shaped its 28th edition, under the motto ‘United for Peace’, with a balance of musical and extra-musical activity that shows that the most planetary reggae city is a cultural revulsive for any age range and is more alive than ever.

Starting August 16, the festival’s six stages at the Concert venue (Main Stage, Lion Stage, Dub Academy, Dancehall, Jamkunda Stage and Jumping), joined by Solé Rototom Beach -which extends the essence of the festival to the Gurugú beach – have welcomed 185 Concerts and dj sets, offering 308 hours of music throughout the week: a total of 44 hours of sound universe per day.

That Rototom Sunsplash is a multicultural gathering is confirmed by the almost 80 nationalities that have converged in the audience this summer. But this diversity of origins is also reflected on stage: 190 artists from 25 countries have projected the roar of the festival’s iconic lion in this edition. From Chile to Colombia, Jamaica, the United States, Angola, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, India, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, among many others.

Benicassim, 2023-08-21. Zoo (Main Stage). Photo by: Carlo Crippa © Rototom Sunsplash 2023.

A global rhythmic journey that will once again be well represented in the last musical staging of the edition. United for Peace’ tonight, with British reggae band UB40 and the Jamaican Anthony B, the international premiere of the show The flamenco world salutes Bob Marley’ or the Valencian groups La Fúmiga and Nativa taking over the successful show, last night on the Main Stage, of the also Valencian Zoo.

No less intense has been the activity in the cultural areas that provide the idiosyncrasy to Rototom Sunsplash, transforming it into a macro event to live both day and night and without age limit.

For seven days, the programming of the seven areas(Social Forum, Reggae University, Jamkunda, Magicomundo, Teen Yard, Pachamama and Social Art Gallery) has brought 143 activities, including debates, talks, screenings, workshops, exhibitions and Afro, urban and dancehall dance sessions. Up to 187 hours of activity between all these cultural epicenters in one week.

The Reggae University and the Social Forum have pivoted on the bulk of screenings, debates and talks. The reggae learning temple has included in its schedule eight film screenings and 13 Rasta sessions and seminars, with 29 guests, including expert voices and artists such as Mad Professor, Mutabaruka, Don Letts or Gaudi.

Benicassim, 2023-08-16. Dub Me Crazy With Love (Reggae University). Photo by: Tato Richieri © Rototom Sunsplash 2023.

The Social Forum is consolidating its position as a hub for social reflection and the search for collective responses with its Agenda 2023, which has brought together five sessions on peace, the climate emergency and human rights, with two screenings of the film ‘In the margins’. by Juan Diego Botto, and the short film The way I welcome you‘, by Amparo Fortuny.

Thirteen hours of social action with 18 guest speakers, including Juan Diego Botto himself, journalists Olga Rodríguezand Teresa Aranguren, peace researcher Tica Font, renowned botanist Francis Hallé and migration activist Helena Maleno. Also Alessandro Di Battista, co-founder and former deputy of Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) and journalist and M5S MEP Sabrina Pignedoli, who closed this Monday the Social Forum 2023 with the session ‘In support of Julian Assange’, joined, via videoconference, by WikiLeaks ambassador Joseph Farrell.

A Social Forum which experienced one of its most crowded sessions -organized from Pachamama– last Saturday, August 19, with I am Tribethe youtuber who documents native tribes on his motorcycle, and who won over the public during the narration of his experience in Latin America, nourished by the testimonies, and the wisdom, of the inhabitants of the territories he visits.

Benicassim, 2023-08-20. Afro dance (Jakmunda). Photo by: Luca Valenta © Rototom Sunsplash 2023.

Rhythmic, and without rest, has been the grill of the most African area of the festival: Jamkunda. A dozen discussions, workshops and classes on Afro-modern and Afro-Caribbean dance. 21 hours of activity thanks to a team of 10 speakers, joined by the crew of four dancers from the area, who led the Afro dance sessions every afternoon under the area’s tent, which was completely full.

Magicomundo, the quintessential space for families and small audiences, closes a week that has nurtured free play, creativity and team-building moments thanks to the twenty or so different initiatives programmed. 40 hours of proposals that have ridden between storytelling sessions, workshops on environmental awareness or circus and puppet shows, among many others. The agenda leaves milestones such as the multitudinous clown show Redof Mireia Miraclethe construction of the great Romalda whale next to the project Ciutat Feliç to warn about the climate crisis; or Zoo Il-lustrat’ (Illustrated Zoo)to interact with the little ones around the songs of the well-known Valencian band.

Benicassim, 2023-08-21. Zoo Il.lustrat (Magicomundo). Photo by: Luca Valenta © Rototom Sunsplash 2023.

The Teen Yard has won over the teenage public with the expansion of the skate park and the new parkour area, which has attracted the champions of Spain and the world in this discipline; and its range of workshops (18) on urban culture.

Creativity without rest has been experienced in the Artisan Market (with 25 different proposals for the whole family), the aforementioned Pachamama, House of Rastafari or Social Art Gallery, in charge of painting the festival’s open-air museum with peace. The Rototom Sunsplash restaurant has also been installed outdoors: international, diverse and full of flavors with up to 40 gastronomic proposals.

Seven batucadas, one per day, led the end of the daily programming in all extra-musical areas. This afternoon will be the last. It will roar to guide the final parade of the ‘United for Peace’ edition , which will add the creative proposals designed throughout the week in the different family areas, and will give way to the last sound staging of Rototom Sunsplash 2023.

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