Rootfire at the Park will be bringing good vibes and a helping hand to an area still feeling the impacts of Hurricane Irma when it returns to Riverfront Park in Cocoa, Florida, November 10-12. Now in its second year, the progressive roots music, reggae and lifestyle festival has been expanded from one to three days with 100% of ticket proceeds going to local hurricane relief efforts.
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Headliners will include the bards of happiness Michael Franti and Spearhead; reggae royalty Stephen Marley; Saint Petersburg’s own The Hip Abduction; indie rockers Hippo Campus; singer/songwriter Citizen Cope; and Mr. Boombastic himself, Shaggy. A heavy contingent of Florida artists, natch, will nicely represent the Sunshine State at the festival as well.
Friday’s kickoff gets underway with South Florida ska sextet Spred The Dub when it brings its R&B, rock-infused, feel-good reggae to the bandstand. Siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence of the New York soul-pop band bearing their name, Lawrence, along with local reggae-rockers The New School Dropouts will also be warming up the audience. The Hippo Campus will be bringing their new wave, indie-energy all the way from St. Paul, Minnesota, and feet will be moving to the island and African rhythm-infused, electro-pop of The Hip Abduction.
On Saturday, the road to happiness begins with the hippie-hop of Cloud9 Vibes and meanders to St. Mary jam band The Trees of Life‘s set of rock/reggae fusion. The journey continues with two Jensen Beach-based bands: songstress Victoria Leigh and the progressive roots music of The Ellameno Beat. Florida vibes keep things rolling with the conscious roots music of Jupiter’s The Bryce Allyn Band and Orlando-based Kash’D Out. TreeHouse will be bringing their coastal jams down from Myrtle Beach, SC, and SOWFLO from Naples, Florida, will keep the rock in reggae.
The evening will also feature two of Jamaica’s brightest “suns” when Tarrus Riley will be sharing his sculptural grooves and Stephen Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, carries on the dynastic sounds that define his native island.
Saturday’s packed lineup is just the warmup festival-goers will need before the rollicking freight train of positivity that is Michael Franti and Spearhead overtakes the night. Audiences don’t dance to Michael Franti and his band of merry men. They levitate in one, big cloud of collective joy. No doubt Saturday’s closer will leave everyone on a high for days.
The positive vibes keep coming on Sunday with the reggae pop/rock of St Petersburg’s Seranation and The Treasure Coast’s Minus Turmoil. Jacksonville-based roots, reggae band JAHMEN will bring their Dub beats to the dance floor, and Tampa Bay will be well represented by The Badda Skat Band, Resinated, and The Reis Brothers, who will all treat the audience to reggae dripping with blues, funk, rock, and soul. The Moska Project, from Jupiter, keeps things rolling with their Latin-influenced reggae, while international singer/songwriter Citizen Cope (a.k.a. Clarence Greenwood) performs solo, bringing his sweet, soulful tunes with him.
The festival closes out with the soulful rhythms of Jamaica’s Jesse Royal and chart-topping recording artist Shaggy, who will be a pulling songs from a career spanning 20 years, a cache of platinum albums, and number one hits such as “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.”
Organizers of Rootfire at the Park, who also stage festivals in California and Seattle, aim to promote reggae and a progressive roots community that empowers artists, inspires positivity and an active healthy lifestyle. That lifestyle includes local craft and food vendors, outdoor yoga sessions, kids zones, soccer garden parties and discounted tickets for riding a bike to the park. For more information and to purchase tickets check the links below.