CLOVERDALE — Let’s try this again, mon.
Last September, an inaugural reggae festival set to happen at Cloverdale’s Stetson Bowl fell through at the last minute, but event planners are back with a similar concert.
The day-long Surrey Reggae Festival will feature a dozen-plus performers on Saturday, Sept. 10.
The event was originally planned for the Stetson Bowl, but it has been moved indoors to the nearby Cloverdale Agriplex, festival organizers announced on Sunday (Sept. 4).
Grammy Award-nominated artist Luciano is the festival headliner, with Turbulence, Omolara (pictured below), Mad Riddim, Los Furios, Foundation Stone and others also on the bill.
Last year’s event, dubbed B.C. Reggae Festival, was cancelled after Surrey RCMP expressed concerns about the event’s security plans.
Things are in order this time around with the renamed festival, event producer Rayon Marshall told the Now last week.
“We ran out of time to get the security up and running last year,” Marshall said. “The police said they didn’t know the company we hired, and they said to use Genesis Security, so we are using them. We have no choice, but they’ve been good to work with so far.”
The all-ages “celebration of Caribbean and African culture, through music, food and handcrafts,” is presented by the Vanc-Calgary Dominoes Club, Vanmusic and Latin Summer Fest, in collaboration with local radio stations and other partners.
The Stetson Bowl has been used as a concert/festival venue more frequently in recent times. On Aug. 7, PraiseFest drew a few thousand Christian-music fans.
Marshall believes Surrey Reggae Festival could be equally as popular.
“We’re aiming for a few thousand people, and the venue can hold that, easily, we know that,” he said late last month, prior to the change in festival venue.
“But now, the feedback I’m getting is people are going to buy their tickets but they’re waiting, waiting, but that’s OK, you know what I mean?” Marshall added. “What can we do, right? We know people want to come out, and that it won’t be like last year.”
Advance tickets for the festival are priced at $20, with free admission for kids under the age of 12. The festival is set to run from 1 to 10 p.m.
Surrey-based event planner Ana David is working to spread word about the first-time festival, along with Kady, a talent agent based in North Delta.
“We’re dusting off the cobwebs from last year and we’ve pulled in some new people to help make it happen,” David said.
“It’s outdoors, which is good, and we’re hoping for good weather, of course. With sunshine, we know people will want to come, so we just have to spread the word.”
Kady said he has not yet attended a concert at the Stetson Bowl.
“I know it’s kind of far for a lot of people, from other parts of Vancouver, but we know of the events that have happened there and have been successful, and we’re betting on that. It’s our first year, right, and we’re not expecting miracles. Like any festival, the first three or four years are really hard to deal with.”
Luciano, who was also booked to play last year’s festival, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016 for his album “Zion Awake,” in the Best Reggae Recording category.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online at Ticket-pal.ca/event/Surrey-Reggae-Festival, or visit Surreyreggaefestival.wixsite.com/surreyreggaefestival for info.