The Bay Area Vibez Festival, in its first year, boasted an unbelievable and eclectic line-up which included the acts from Damian Marley’s Catch A Fire Tour 2015 (Damian & Stephen Marley, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, SuperCat etc…) and Hip hop heavyweight NAS, as well as other R&B/Jazz/Blues artists such as Meshell Ndegecello, Aloe Blacc and FishBone. The venue was in an industrial port area which offered a scenic view of the city of San Francisco and the newly-built Oakland bridge.
The Festival featured one of the Best Hip Hop Freestylists ever: SuperNatural, working as a host and displaying his skills intermittently.
The highlights of the Festival were of course Damian and Stephen Marley as well as the other acts from their tour due in Los Angeles the next day.
Upcoming rising stars Skip Marley (Cedella’s son) and Ghetto Youths Crew Black Am I are regularly part of the line-up whenever Damian or Stephen Marley perform.
Morgan Heritage, the other Reggae Royal Family was also featured.
Legendary SuperCat reemerged after a long hiatus as one of the most energetic and entertaining artists of the line-up.
Tarrus Riley has definitely become a Reggae Powerhouse with his sultry voice and dancehall and R&B influences. Not to mention that he is backed by Reggae’s most recognizable saxophonist in Dean Fraser.
It was a delight watching I-Wayne perform his now classic and newest hits with his trademark high-pitched tone, on the smaller stage.
Hip Hop Heavyweight NAS was part of the line-up and delivered a mesmerizing performance with his array of classic hits from the 90s to the 2000s much to the delight of Sunday’s Hip hop crowd. However, he surprisingly did not perform with Damian Marley though their collaborative album “Distant Relatives” is a modern Hip hop/Reggae classic.
Established Blues and R&B/Jazz legends FishBone and Meshell NDegecello as well as newcomers Blues singer Aloe Blacc and Techno/Club-influenced Reggae band The Courtney John Project contributed more to the eclecticism of this festival which fulfilled the musical fantasies of a very diverse crowd.
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