Rototom Sunsplash Day 5: Showered with Blessing Image

by Federico Di Puma

The Reggae University kicked off the day with a very conscious program; first was the world premiere of Escape to St. Croix, a documentary on the Reggae scene and the rasta culture in the Virgin Islands. The movie directed by Tom Caruana and Antoine Alazard follows the life of 18 local artists while working in studio and explaining the importance of Rastafari on the island.

The debate that followed was entitled Rasta Music as Rasta Livity and had an interesting line up of panellists including Jah9, Mikey General and Vaughn Benjamin the lead singer of Midnite.


Junior Kelly was the first to step on stage but had to stop his show for a while due to a heavy shower. It immediately reminded us Osoppo (the place in Italy where Rototom was held before they were forced to move to Spain) and its “at least one storm a day” kind of weather.


When, after 45 minutes, the rain finally stopped the people of Rototom reached the Main Stage in numbers and showed Junior Kelly the love he deserves. Backed greatly by the Dubtonic Kru he delivered all his old hits, from Blaze to Boom Draw, but dropped also some new tunes anticipating a new album he’s working on produced by Irie Vibrations Records that should be out early next year.


He ended his show with class playing Smile and Love So Nice.


The stage was left in the hands of Lampa Dread, who always selects music and backs the artists’ showcases, and in the voice of YT who performed a couple of his tunes before moving to the Dub Academy for a full show with Green Light Sound.

Second act on the Main Stage was the band Nou Vin Lakay from Venezuela, winners of the Rototom Latin Reggae Contest. We have to admit we didn’t know much about them, but surely they are one of the best surprises we had this year. They hit the stage full of energy and entertained the crowd with songs like Baila and Reggae Music before they conquered everyone when asking for a minute of noise for Gaza. What a debut!


After their show the Rototom people witnessed another very special moment with the presence of the Tibetan Lama Wangchen, who moved to Spain in 1981 and who founded the House of Tibet in Barcelona. He spoke about the Tibetan situation asking the people to chant “Free Tibet” in many different languages, and the Rototom massive responded with enthusiasm to his voice.

Third act on the Main Stage was the ‘Messenjah’ himself Luciano


The Mafia & Fluxy band, who previously supported Addis Pablo on the Showcase stage, started with the Promise Land riddim and then Luciano appeared on stage performing two of his classics, Give Praise and Sweep Over My Soul. He also took time to express his love and respect to Dennis Brown, with the title track of his latest album Deliverance produced by Mad Professor. Luciano closed his show with It’s Me Again Jah and then transformed Lord Give Me Strength in a maxi medley with Old Time Religion, Down By The River Side and When The Saints Go Marching In.


Sean Paul was the headliner of the fifth day, and from the soundcheck in the afternoon it was possible to see how big his show would have been. Backed by a very powerful band and accompanied on stage by two dancers, Sean Paul had also a special scenography, with an explosion of confetti that welcomed his entrance. All his hits, from Dutty Rock to Get Busy and Gimme the Light, were acclaimed with roars from the audience and he also deejayed a little bit in Spanish and offered his special version of No Woman No Cry before concluding his set in style.

This was one of the nights where the after-Main Stage program was one of the most interesting, and it was quite difficult to choose the stage to follow: David Rodigan put the Dancehall Yard on fire, the Dub Academy saw the presence of YT, Mikey General and a special appearance of Luciano and in the Showcase Club the unstoppable Dubtonic Kru played their riddims for Micah Shemaiah and Infinite

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