Prepare for Irie Islander Vibes: The Longhorn Ballroom is Hosting a Reggae Festival

The historic Longhorn Ballroom will be hosting the first reggae festival in Dallas.EXPAND
The historic Longhorn Ballroom will be hosting the first reggae festival in Dallas.
Cal Quinn
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Reggae music will send irie vibes into the air for two days at an outdoor concert venue taking place at the Longhorn Ballroom during the upcoming 2019 Dallas Reggae Festival. It will include Grammy Award-nominated singer Etana and three Dallas reggae bands: D’RAS & The Sharac BAND, Watusi and Poly Hwy. The festival will take place on Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, from 2 to 10 p.m.

Other bands set to perform include Lion Heights, Roots From The Clay and IDIGINS. The bands vary in age and there will be multiple DJs who will jam through the weekend between band performances. Mike Frakaz, promoter for Reggae Fest, says, “The goal was to unite the audience with performers from many different generations.”

This is a family-friendly event so you don’t have to leave the kids at home. However you take that news, the performances will be an opportunity for young ones to listen and relate to artists who might look like them.

Reggae Fest will not be entirely devoted to reggae music. There will be highlights on R&B, soul and Afrobeat. With all those feel-good music genres set to hit the stage, the 2019 Dallas Reggae Festival is slated to become a “can’t miss” event.

Another feel-good thing to go along with all the good music is that 15% of ticket sales will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank and festival attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donate.

And it wouldn’t be a reggae festival without Caribbean food. There will be a diverse slate of vendors that will bring arts and crafts, the kinds of cool things that could only be found around a beach, and of course, Caribbean food.

Most people would say there is no reggae without ganja. But do not expect any Thai sticks to be lit up. Marijuana is still mostly illegal in Texas, and there will be minors at this festival. Don't be surprised to smell some hemp flower, though.

The timing for the 2019 Reggae Festival is incidentally right on the heels of the legalization of hemp in Dallas. This event will be a celebration of love, positivity and all the other things reggae music is known to represent.

“We want people to escape to the islands for a few hours," Frakaz says. "And bring the city of Dallas together for one epic weekend.”

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