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Victoria Ska Fest June 14th to18th

8 June 2017 No Comment

The Ska Fest will bring The Skints, Mad Caddies, The Black Seeds, Perro Bravo, Los Furios, Out of Control Army, Mistica, Banda Skalavera, Booker T Jones among others.

Victoria Ska Fest is a diverse musical showcase featuring the best reggae, ska, dub, jazz, dancehall and punk from across the globe in various venes in Victoria and Vancouver, BC.

ska festThe Victoria Ska Festival aka Ska Fest is a music festival that takes place every summer in Victoria British Columbia, Canada. The festival is organized and executed by the Victoria BC Ska Society, a non-profit organization. Headed into our 18th year, the Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival – the longest running festival of its kind in North America – is set to spread the love throughout the City of Victoria with an eclectic variety of artists representing the best the globe has to offer in the worlds of ska, reggae, funk, punk, soul, Latin music and more! Once again, Victoria’s historic Ship Point will be our marquee venue, hosting both ticketed and free programming, with additional shows and workshops taking place throughout the Downtown core over five days.

tourThe festival is kicking off this year’s Victoria Ska & Reggae fest with bang – A FREE show at the Ship Point to rally the Ska & Reggae Massive and start the festival off with a powerful blast of energy. One of modern reggae’s most powerful personalities, JAH9, makes her Victoria debut flanked by her powerful reggae band THE DUB TREATMENT. With her incredible voice and passion for life, Jah9 has made her mark through her music, her art and her yoga. The Jamaican native represents all the good things we love about reggae music and is the perfect headline act to set off our Main Stage at Ship Point. The groups powerful dub reggae is going to provide you with some bottom-end heavy riddims and positive vibes to power you through the rest of Festival week!

Joining Jah9 & The Dub Treatment to soak the Massive in sunny reggae vibes are Colombian reggae outfit MISTICA, making their Canadian debut. The band, close friends of past festival favourites Providencia (Complete with a former member of the outfit), Mistica has been making waves all over South America since their inception just a couple short years ago. Vancouver Island reggae warriors CHEKO & THE LION ROCKERS return to the Ska & Reggae Fest stage for a display of some of the finest roots reggae music that BC has to offer. And to kickstar the proceedings, OUT OF CONTROL ARMY is storming out Mexico City, bringing their ultra high-energy ska music to Canada for the first time!

Wednesday at the Distrikt Longtime Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest friends SKAMPIDA make a triumphant return to the Festival for a high-energy party like no other. The rowdy Colombian ska troubadours have been running about the globe causing mischief and it’s been too long since they’ve come to rile up audience. Luckily we’ve managed to track down and round up the ruffians for this spectacular night of unpredictable fun! with Sweet Leaf, The Party on High Street.

Other highlights include Friday June 16th at Sugar Club with The Black Seeds. After one of last year’s highlight performances under the stairs at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour, THE BLACK SEEDS are returning to get Sugar Nightclub rocking – a rare chance to see the dub reggae heroes up-close-and-personal!


The Black Seeds are proof that the beating heart of reggae lies with the people, from whichever nation or part of the world they call home. For nearly two decades, The Black Seeds have been putting in the work and channeling the sound of that beating heart. Formed in 1998 while guitarist/vocalist Barnaby Weir was working at Radio Active, an independent radio station in Wellington, New Zealand. Weir was one of a very small number of DJs at the station regularly spinning Jamaican-rooted music. In short time, just spinning the music wasn’t enough and it was time to play it themselves. Since then, The Black Seeds have established themselves as not only one of New Zealand’s most recognizable bands but as one of the faces of the global reggae movement. . Having countless shows and five – soon to be six – albums their belt, the group has mastered their dub reggae foundations, giving them the perfect canvass to splash with funk, soul, blues and straight-ahead rock and roll.

Supporting The Black Seeds is the smoky Vancouver soulstress TONYE. Since becoming the go-to voice for Vancouver’s strong community of EDM producers and DJs, Tonye has been working to cement her place as a solo force to be reckoned with and if her new album “Villain” is any indication, she’s already there. The album blends live instrumentation with electronic beats and elements to provide a lush rhythmic landscape for Tonye’s incredible vocals to flourish.

Saturday June 17th is an all day of fun.

ship pointStarting at 2 PM at the Ship Point, Victoria BC Ska & Reggae Society favourites Mad Caddies headline a day to remember at the Inner Harbour. The band is as sharp and fun as ever, even after two decades. “It’s incredible. I really never thought we’d go for 20 years. I don’t want to sound clichéd but it’s been a long, strange trip for sure,” lead singer Chuck Robinson told the VBCSS’s Blake Morneau during their last festival visit. “We’re so lucky to be able to keep doing this. We’re really thankful and grateful to the fans who still come out to have a good time.” The ongoing success of the Mad Caddies is a triumph, tempered by the specific humbleness and gratitude that comes from an understanding of and respect for the artist/fan relationship. The Mad Caddies aren’t rockstar divas. They are lovers of the music, and even though they’re creators, they’re still fans and likely in the crowd with the rest of our Ska & Reggae family.

Joining the Caddies on this ska-spectacular are Easy Star Records champions and modern reggae warriors, The Skints. The UK quartet combines so many facets of the reggae family tree – dub, ska, two-tone, punk, dancehall, hip-hop – as to create an entirely unique, wildly unpredictable style. With dynamic male/female harmonies and grimy rapid-fire dancehall raps, the Skints paint vivid sonic portraits of hard city life in London over top of sunny dub reggae with way more heavy bottom end than they have any right to use.
skints
Representing that sunny ska hotbed of Long Beach, California are Skunk Records trio Perro Bravo. From his work as a original member of Sublime – he’s responsible for the lead vocals on the band’s cover of “Scarlet Begonias,” and remained a producer for the band until its end – to his founding of the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Happoldt has repeatedly proved his catchy, sun-soaked mettle. Formed in 2010, Perro Bravo is upholding that strong tradition of skank-friendly reggae-tinged music.

Over-stuffing an already jam-packed bill are rowdy Victoria hip-hop quartet, Illvis Freshly. With a firmly old-school vibe, couched in an aggressively bouncy EDM sound, the quartet of mischief makers has been rocking bodies and making people bounce all around British Columbia, including a highlight performance at last years Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest. With the release of last year’s Illenials – a party-ready rocker of an album that features fellow Festival performer Caleb Hart – Illvis Freshly further cemented their place as one of the most unique and exciting acts to emanate from Vancouver Island in a long time.

By night Los Furios with Banda Skalavera. Victoria BC Ska Society is excited to present the Canadian debut of La Banda Skalavera from Los Angeles to Victoria’s 18th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival. They are going to blow your minds!! This all Latino band play a mixture of ska core/punk, meringue, salsa, reggae and traditional folk.

La Banda Skalavera will be playing with Los Furios from Vancouver. Los Furios are a long-time fixture in Canada’s ska scene and are about as old as the festival. Los Furios play a high energy brand of ska mixed with punk and reggae.

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