Looking forward to bigger and better in 2019 for 15th Anniversary
Every year for the past 14 years, music lovers looked to the month of August when they will make the pillgrimage to the Old Port of Montreal to soak up a weekend of bliss, when a caravan of international stars come to town for Reggae Fest.
This year, however, the music has gone quiet.
In a recently released press release organizers of the Montreal International Reggae Festival confirmed what was many reggae lovers biggest fear, that the festival is cancelled for 2018.
For weeks there has been speculation on-line and at community events that the popular summertime weekend of endless music will not be staged this year, but with no official work from organizers hope continued to drip.
However, according to Eric Blagrove, the founder and president of the event, all efforts were made to try to salvage this year’s event but “it just couldn’t happen.”
He stated in the release that “It is hurtful to know that the festival will not be happening this year,” and guarantees that the festival “will be back next year better than ever.”
Blagrove, a Jamaican who grew up in Montreal, founded the festival in 2004 because of his love of reggae music. Back then he told the CONTACT that his singular joy was to see families coming to the venue to relax and enjoy a day or two of reggae music from some of the best artistes in the world. And for the most part he was able to see his dream come true as the MIRF continued to grow in numbers, even in the face of some obvious stumbling blocks and with support from government or private sector sponsorship.
For well over a decade, it showed itself as “the little festival that could” as it grew into one of the largest outdoor reggae events in North America, attracting upwards of 30,000 a weekend.
And it featured some of reggae’s biggest stars, such as Inner Circle, Third World, Tauras Riley, Etana, Luciano, Sanchez, Beres Hammond, Shaggy, Shabba Ranks and Beenie Man, and more recently an illustrious line-up of Soca music heavyweights like Kes The Band , Olatungi and Allison Hinds.
Organizers are asking fans to look forward to a bigger and better Reggae Fest for 2019 when they will celebrate their 15th anniversary.