The 29th Tribute to the Reggae Legends honored David Isaacs (toured with the Itals) and Vivian “Yabby You” Jackson, co-emceed by Makeda “Dread” Cheatom, Director of the WorldBeat Center and Dj Carlos Culture.
Despite a weak economy, especially for the entertainment industry, the Sports Arena was nearly filled to capacity, a vast improvement from last year’s concert.
Foundation artists such as Don Carlos and The Twinkle Brothers along with San Diego favorites, Barrington Levy and Eek-A-Mouse (a last minute add), lured concert goers to pay $40 seats ($50 day of) and $61 for floor ($71 day of) access.
“This was the best reggae festival…ever!,” Michael Soto said.
“This is my seventh time attending the festival and each year it has gotten bigger and better,” Soto said.
The crowd favorites were Levy and the tardy Eek-A-Mouse.
Levy energized the arena with hits including, “Murderer,” “Only You,” and an a capella version of “Under My Sensi.”
Don Carlos [below] (former lead singer for Black Uhuru) and The Twinkle Brothers, each frequently performing at San Diego reggae venues, had solid performances and once again proved why they are legends in their own rights.
Some fans didn’t think the concert was worth the admission costs due to the cancellations of dancehall artist Capleton and lovers rock crooner, Cocoa Tea.
Not realizing that Capleton wasn’t performing, Guyton Higgins, 26, from Jamaica, was disappointed.
“I paid $71 only to see Capleton,” continued with “They should have a cancellation sign at the box office window,” Higgins said.
Subscribers to the WorldBeat Center’s website were alerted of the line-up change and the disclaimer on the website stated “Line-up schedule subject to change.”
Capleton fell victim to the ongoing efforts of the gay community’s continuing campaign to silence reggae artists performing songs promoting violence against gay people. Cocoa Tea, currently touring with Capleton, was an innocent bystander due to his dependence on shared resources with Capleton.
Both were scheduled to perform at the sister concert of the Tribute to the Reggae Legends, the Ragga Muffins Festival on Feb. 21, in Long Beach, CA. As of today, Capleton has been removed from the line-up and Cocoa Tea is slated to perform.
Other complaints included, lack of notice of the cancellations, artists performing mainly roots and culture, similar past line-ups and of course the smoke.