From left: Chronixx, Popcaan and Jesse Royal on stage at The Lost in Time Festival. Photo credit: Nathaniel Stewart/Jamaica Gleaner
Last Saturday, February 25th, reggae fanatics stumbled into a dilemma; there were two incredible music festivals, featuring the hottest artists in their respective genres, happening simultaneously – one in Kingston, Jamaica, and the other in Miramar, Florida.
Lost in Time Festival
The Lost in Time Festival debuted this past weekend at a converted Palm Drive, part of Jamaica’s iconic Hope Gardens Park, a. According to all in attendance, Jamaicans hope becomes an annual fixture on the event calendar. The festival is a brainchild of reggae icon Protoje, who pulled double duty as performer and producer of the festival.
Also on the all-star lineup were Jesse Royal, Lila Iké, Mortimer, Jaz Elise, Naomi Cowan, Samory I, Yaadcore, Tessellated, and Ras-I. Patrons were treated to the who’s who of the modern pantheon. Every act went through the hits in their discography with Jaz Elise as a highlight, delivering a typically easy-swaying set complete with a sign language translator. The artists held their own and included frequent collaborators, such as Jesse Royal and Protoje taking the stage to perform their hits together. It was already a night to remember before a surprise performance by Chronixx, Ky-Mani Marley, Popcaan, and Aidonia took the stage together. Patrons were treated to an impromptu jam session, which included freestyling and singing each other’s songs, and Chronixx paying toast to the head honcho Protoje for putting it all together.
Festival attendees had access to two concert stages, craft and food vendors, cocktail bars, and sponsor activations. Those who paid for VIP access could access the comfort lounge, which had its exclusive bar and granted premium sight lines.
Afro Carib Festival
Conspicuous through her absence from the Lost In Time Festival was Koffee. That’s because the young reggae superstar was headlining another festival – the Afro Carib Festival in Miramar, Florida. Now a staple on the concert calendar, the Afro Carib Festival blends different genres of music including reggae, afro beats, and reggaeton.
The festival concluded as a multi-day event, with celebrations of Caribbean and African cultures beginning days before. On the 22nd, Reggae Icon awards were presented to the legendary Marcia Griffiths, one of the biggest ambassadors and performers reggae will ever know, and the incomparable Winston Powell, the founder of the premier and innovative Jamaican sound system, Stone Love. On the day before the concert, DJs EverNever, Terra, and Fergie held a “selector clash” teasing what was to come the next day.
When it comes to bang for your buck, it’s hard to top the Afro Carib Festival. For as little as $25, concert-goers experienced not just Koffee running through her twice-nominated catalog of lyrically-potent hits, but experienced a diversity of genres as she was joined by Nigerian chart mainstay Tekno, Haitian legend J.Perry, and the Cuban icon Jacob Forever. These four main acts were joined by local artists Alexander Star, Yung Wylin’, and David Cairol.