14th Annual Midwest Reggae Fest

With Maxi Priest, Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band, and others. Saturday, August 13, at Meadowridge Farm.

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Packy Malley's Annual Midwest Reggae Fest is now in its 14th year, and seasoned fest-goers already know the deal -- anything homemade, home-brewed, or homegrown is positively welcome. For the uninitiated, however, here are a few guidelines. One: Bring a comfortable blanket to sit on, and jam your cooler with plenty of ice-cold brew for you and your mates. Spliffs, though optional, are highly recommended. Two: Perfect weather is virtually guaranteed, as the fest has never been stalled due to adverse conditions, so dress appropriately. Three: Be prepared to wander. Just beyond the pavilion there's a vendor village, a playground for the kids, horseshoes, volleyball, and a pond for swimming. They make for an exceptional backdrop to the music. Speaking of which, this year's lineup boasts Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band, Cleveland's busiest roots maestros, and Washington, D.C.'s SOJA, which also delivers roots reggae with an American flair. Lorain's Outlaws I and I play lovers' rock reverently, while Columbus' mighty Roots High Power will provide the sound system. England's sugary Maxi Priest, who was notching crossover hits 15 years ago, is headlining. Though the Midwest Reggae Fest has become more about the fest than the reggae, it's still a damn good party.
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