BAC verdict: 2016 Best Reggae Festival in the UK.
The Glastonbury Festival is a national treasure and Michael Eavis does a great job in keeping the festival real – the line up and facilities are fantastic but the demand for tickets means that it is increasingly difficult to obtain them with the digital madness that now surrounds the ticket allocation.
9 years ago Dan Wiltshire and his team got together to try and pull together a conscious, unique event that recognised that real reggae music sounds best outdoors. The overriding feeling was that they wanted to bring back Peace and Love. BAC visited past festivals in Milton Keynes and Tewkesbury and found it to be full of characters who want to have fun whilst respecting nature and people. Reggae is an art form and a journey for people who feel and listen, and this festival characterises all of those things - importantly it’s a place the you can bring all the family.
Paul: Dan, how on earth did you get black people to consider camping?!
Dan: Yes, it was a hard sell and when we started there was a bit of shock and horror but as with the development of One Love it has been trial and error, and now people love it. Anyway, we have all sorts of tents ranging from luxurious yurts and ready put up tents for those who cannot face the full camping experience to pitch your own.
Paul: Why did you start One Love?
Dan: The digital world has transformed the music industry and Reggae has suffered as there are not many venues where people can hear the music as it should be heard. We also thought we would try and provide a place where new and old artists could perform, experiment and also enjoy the company of their peers and supporters in a peaceful, fun loving environment.
Paul: What were the major obstacles?
Dan: We started in 2008 at Herstmonceux Gardens in East Sussex and we honestly did not know what to expect. It turned out to be an extraordinary event and we quickly outgrew the location. We had some issues around organisation community liaison that we have learnt from and have incorporated approaches that try and bring harmony between the event and any community concerns that people may have.
The strangest event we had was in 2009 at a major Zoo in Kent where we woke up to the roar of lions! Funnily enough many of the attendees hated the idea of such beautiful creatures in captivity so we decided to move on. It was a surreal experience but seeing caged animals undermined the consciousness of the event.
In 2010 we found our home in Essex and although we have moved around to other locations we have now settled at this Essex location as we feel it meets all our needs and it is a great location. It also allows us to manage the noise issue with live acts finishing at 2300 hrs and the Dj sound systems finishing at 0200 hrs. Many visitors are more mature – the average age is 37 - so after a long day most are happy to retire to their tents or to the play areas to rest up for the next days activities.
Paul: what in your opinion makes the festival special?
Dan: One Love is a festival of like minded people which is difficult to describe but they want to be free to have fun, enjoy life and love their music without the hassle of the daily grind. To sum it up, its about:
- Music for the Heart.
- Food for your tummy.
- Friends for life.
If you want these things you’re always welcome at One Love.
The Festival will be held on 2nd-4th September Hainault Forest Country Club. Tickets are still available.
The artists they will be announcing today are:
- Junior Reid
- Big Youth
- Half Pint
- Kabaka Pyramid
- Jimmy London ft Black Roots
- Roger Robinson Ft Dennis Bovell
- Gary Clail ft 2kings sound system
- Ras Charmer ft Chris Peckings
Lee "Scratch" Perry / Max Romeo / The Congos / The Gladiators / I Kong / Sister Nancy / Brinsley (Aswad) Forde / Natty / Bass Odyssey Sound System Meets Saxon Sound System (40th Anniversary Special) / Battle of the Dubplates - Coxsone Sound Vs Java Sound Vs Stereophonic Sound Vs Qualitex sound Vs Lord Gelly Sound Vs Love Express Sound Vs G.I. Roadshow Sound System Vs Mackabee Sound / Saxon Sound System Marquee / Blacker Dread Records showcase / Capital Letters / Macka B / King Addies Sound / Gaudi - Live Dub Show / / Mad Professor - Live Dub Show / The Underclass ft.
Neville Staple / Prince Hammer and Dub Natty Sessions / Nucleus Roots / General Roots / The Reggae Choir / Digitaldubs Sound System / Twilight Circus / Fatman Sound Sound Meets Saxon Sound / King Lorenzo / Earl Gateshead / Bunny Lee / Don Campbell / Disciples / Smith and Mighty / Mixmaster Morris / Dan Wiltshire / Salutation Dub / Chris Dubflow / Babilondon / One Style MDV / Instrument of Jah / Direct Impact Sound System / Nick Manassah / Wendy Walker / Aurelia Dey / Ben Russell and the Charmers/ The Downsetters / Josephine and The Artizans / Lion Star / Junior Dread / Robin Catto / Flying Muses / Konquerin Soundz / LPOJ / Jahcub and the Chosenones / Michael St. George / Friction & The Roots Drivers / Paul Morgan and The Messengers / King Solomon / Yechidah / Genral Steppas ft R Zee Jackson / Poorman Dub / Roots Renegade / Dread Culture / Dub Doctor / Maitree Express / The Tribe / Jah Eyes / Lobster / Maximum Heights Band / Positive Vibes Crew / Ras Lando & The Internationals / Jeremiah Ferrar / The Mighty Dub Generators / Stop Press / Tree House Fire / Skipyard Rockers / Last Tree Squad Tony / Aleighcia Scott / Ras Pilot / CBlock / Nano Fish Dippers / Joe Angel & Pamodzi Band / Wadada / Dub Marta / Leanne and The Radix / The Stalks / Steel City Rhythm / Stig of the Dub / Jamie Irie.
For further information please visit http://www.onelovefestival.co.uk