Austin’s Wildfire Festival and 3 Months of Reggae

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185037-250Music festival season is fast approaching and our site is already starting to fill up with tickets to festivals all around the country.

One of the first big events of the season is, of course, SXSW in Austin, Texas. Originally started in 1987 as a way to showcase independent music, SXSW has turned into one of the biggest interactive media events in the country, complete with corporate-sponsored showcases featuring big name acts, high-tech trade shows and media startup conferences. Attendance has sky-rocketed from 700 attendees in its first year, to over 40,000 attendees today. As a result, being able to see bands has become a bit of a challenge for the average music fan.

That’s why we’re excited to be ticketing a real “independent” festival in Austin that’s focused on a genre of music that we deeply love here at Brown Paper Tickets: reggae! Our music doer Billy Geoghegan has been playing in reggae and ska bands for years and you’ll often hear a reggae beat coming out of the computer speakers of many of our employees’ desks.

So, when we see that we’re ticketing a festival like the 4th Annual Wildfire Reggae and Arts Festival, we naturally want to spread the word and support it in any way we can. It’s going on during SXSW, so if you’re in town for “South By” and want to experience some high quality grooves in a beautiful setting, then Wildfire is for you!

Now in its fourth year, the Wildfire Reggae and Arts Festival will take place at The Music Ranch from Thursday, March 7 to Saturday, March 9 and will spotlight more than 30 bands offering a cross-section of the reggae genre, from ska to rocksteady to roots, dub and beyond. Past headliners have included Collie Buddz, Lynval Golding (of The Specials), HR (of Bad Brains), Common Kings, Contra Coup and Josh Heinrichs. This year offers another stellar lineup: Don Carlos (of Black Uhuru fame), Gyptian, Marlon Asher and the Farmers, The Expanders, Mike Love, Alex Marley, a large selection of DJ’s and more. They expect over 4,000 attendees this year and there will also be camping in a beautiful 80-acre oak tree forest. You can pick up daily passes, three-day passes or the coveted VIP passes right over here.

Wildfire organizer Gregory “Phive” Cooper had this to say about working with Brown Paper Tickets:  “Reggae music fans just want to have a great music experience; they don’t want to have to worry about getting questions answered when they need it. Wildfire fans will have 24/7 bilingual phone support and the option to purchase hard tickets to the event that we could not offer without the help of Brown Paper Tickets.”

“We chose Brown Paper Tickets for a few reasons. The first being that BPT has been around longer than the majority of on-line ticketing companies and they created a platform that the others are trying to emulate. With that said, BPT still has a down-to-earth homegrown approach which we foster in our own business, so that made it a perfect match.”

Thanks Gregory! We’re proud to be working with Wildfire this year.

But, Wildfire isn’t the only reggae event that we’re ticketing. We got tons of killer reggae and ska events coming up in the coming months all over the country. So, if you love Jamaican music as much as we do, check out these events:

TONIGHT! Wednesday, February 20 I The Toasters, Mrs. Skannotto, and RiptideLafayette, Louisiana   The Toasters, are “Ska Pioneers” (Billboard magazine) and boldly go where no ska band has gone before. Having been compared to the Ramones, due to their longevity and adherence to core principles, the Toasters are held to be one of most influential ska bands out there. Their lean, mean ska machine has galvanized audiences and musicians alike with their embrace of the Jamaica-born pop music style that overwhelmed England in the 1960’s, migrated to America in the early 1980s, and went global in the 1990s. The hallmark Toasters sound sits at the nexus of reggae, jazz, punk and soul and is the musical equivalent of a brass knuckle-duster.

Saturday, February 23 I Warrior KingAustin, Texas  Like a bolt of lightening from the sky, Rasta messenger Warrior King has burst upon the scene, utilizing his gift of song to spread Jah truth throughout the land. The conscious singer has released his first full-length album. His VP Records debut, “Virtuous Woman, features production by such heavy hitters as Sheldon ‘Calibud’ Stewart, Richard “Chabano” Brown, Lion Paw and Penthouse as well as guest appearances by Jahmali and dub poet, DYCR.

Thursday, February 28 I WITHOUT BORDERS FESTWashington D.C.  Alumbra Nights Presents: Without Borders Fest. Alumbra Nights will take over one of the hottest venues on the U Street Corridor to host the first ever “Without Borders Fest!” At Alumbra and Apuesta por el Rock believes music is a universal language without borders and by bringing international artists to perform alongside local DC talent they hope to show that music can transcend language and varying musical styles. There will be live music by: ALIKA – An Uruguayan-Argentine artist with the reality of roots, the friendliness of reggae, the force of dancehall, and the sincerity of hip hop; The Shifters – a rocksteady reggae band; Love, Peace, & Tree – A Virginia based pop-punk, experimental band and Kill Lincoln – a mix of ska, pop-punk, metal and hardcore. Plus DJ sets by DJ Mafe (Maracuyeah) spinning cumbia electronica; Koalition spinning dub and digital dancehall and DJ APER spinning Latin reggae and ska.

Sunday, March 3 I The Green in BellinghamBellingham, Washington  Formed in 2009 on Oahu, Hawaii, The Green blends roots reggae with traditional Hawaiian vibes. Their new single “Liar” is out now on Easy Star Records. The Green’s sophomore album “Ways & Means” spent four weeks at #1 on Billboard‘s Reggae Chart. Their self-titled debut album was named iTunes Best Reggae Album of 2010.

Saturday, March 30 I Micheal Rose and Sister CarolSeattle, Washington  For over 25 years , Micheal Rose has been recording and performing his brand of militant , hardcore Jamacian music to the delight of reggae fans around the world . Micheal Rose is undoubtedly an exceptionally talented vocalist and performer. It was Micheal Rose on lead vocals that propelled Black Uhuru to the top after Bob Marley’s musical reign, and and helped them win a Grammy award for their album “Anthem.” Micheal Rose is the favored voice of Black Uhuru, with his waterhouse slurs, effective songwriting, militant dancing and vocal sound. Sister Carol has been working hard as a female artist on the frontline internationally for over thirty years. Her music is rich with culture values, social consciousness and positive conceptions. Over the years she has been a top featured artist on many festivals. Many people were introduced to Sister Carol through her acting.

Saturday, April 6 I The SkatalitesLas Vegas, Nevada  The Skatalites are the original Jamaican ska band. They played initially between 1963 and 1965, and recorded many of their best known songs in the period, including “Guns of Navarone.” They also played on records by Prince Buster and backed many other Jamaican artists who recorded during that period. They reformed in 1983 and have played together ever since. The original Skatalites consisted of legendary Jamaican musicians Tommy McCook (died 1998), Rolando Alphonso (died 1998), Lloyd Brevett (died 2012), Lloyd Knibb (died 2011), Lester Sterling, Don Drummond (died 1969), Jah Jerry Haynes (died 2007), Jackie Mittoo (died 1990), Johnny Moore (died 2008) and Jackie Opel (died 1970). This lineup, or some version of it, played on almost every ska and rocksteady recording in the 60s and the current lineup, featuring original Skatalite Lester Sterling and legendary vocalist Doreen Shaffer, continues to bring the classic big-band ska sound to stages all over the world. Get ready to dance!

Thursday, April 18 I GENIASS PRESENTS: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad with Common FoundationAsheville, North Carolina  Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (PANDA!) is a quintet from Rochester, New York. Their psychedelic roots reggae album “In These Times” made iTunes Best of 2012 list. Over the past six years, PANDA! has performed 800 shows, put out a collection of live albums, and released a roots Americana record titled “Country” (January 2012). Colorful, bright, and spirited, Common Foundation is a young group of some really talented individuals. They play a blend of reggae, rocksteady and uptempo ska, all outfitted with a big band style horn section. They’ll move from soulful instrumentals with jazz influenced solos, to sing along melodies in three part harmony. Always enjoying their performance, and always bringing a smile, Common Foundation is a new Asheville band worth checking out.

Friday, April 19 MIDNITE with Special Guests PAULA FUGA, MIKE LOVE & SAM ITES from Hawaii in Provolt Oregon  – Provolt, Oregon  After 50 full length album releases to date and tours to the African continent, Europe, North and South America Midnite, whose shows can often last over two hours, have set a new standard for roots reggae. The band’s most recent January 2013 release is “Free Indeed” on the Higher Bound label. Word sound and power from St. Croix’s griots, brothers Vaughn and Ron Benjamin of the Virgin Islands have shaped a sound that travels throughout the universe with its bottom heavy, improvisational styling.

Friday, May 17 I Island Stage Presents Katchafire with Special Guest MaoliFort Worth, Texas  Reggae is one of the bloodlines of New Zealand music, and the all-Maori band Katchafire has become its foremost advocate today. A family affair from day one in 1997, founder and lead guitarist Grenville Bell and sons Logan (lead vocals) and Jordan (drums) remain the core of the band. Transcending their origins in a Hamilton garage as a cover band, Katchafire took their Marley-inspired original music to the bars and clubs, building up a fan base of thousands. Their exceptional debut album, the prophetically named “Revival,” sold in excess of 45,000 copies (more than double platinum in New Zealand) and they scored massive hits with songs like “Giddy Up,” the nation’s biggest selling single of 2002 and 2003.

Friday, May 31 I City Of Trees Reggae Music FestivalSacramento, California  A three-day festival for the people by the people. City of Trees “REGGAE” Music Festival will take place at Rio Ramaza Marina RV & Event Park in Sacramento. Acts include: international reggae sensation Don Carlos, Pato Banton, Sublime LBC & Long Beach Rehab, Tribal Theory, PYRX, Ras Rebel & the Bluntist, Rising Son, Reggae Motion, J. Ras & Soulifted, Ancestree, Up Rooted, Ease Up, Skadaddyz, Cornerstone, Dread Daze, Irie Sun, Rising Buffalo Tribe, A La Lune, DJ K.O.H., DJ Jahsun, DJ PHG, Tripple Tree, J Real, Irie Adina the flute player and DJ Willow.