The 14th Annual, Bob Marley Movement Festival - sold out!


By: CJ
Photos By: Carlington Wilmot


Last Saturday, March 3, 2007 was yet another day in History for the Royal Marley Family. The 14th Annual, Bob Marley Movement Festival brought a full house of fans and supporters from near and far to Bayfront Amphitheater in downtown Miami.

According to the Miami Dade Parks and recreation Department the 10,000 capacity of Bayfront Amphitheater was reached and superseded to the extent that the security had to restrict some of the later attendees from entry. Jose Solano, Event Coordinator for Bayfront and Bicentennial Parks did mention that this was not the most successful turnout in the festival's history. "1999 was their best year yet when they peaked at 25,000 patrons, the numbers diminished since then hitting a low of 4,000, but it is back on the rise" says a well informed Solano.

The sell-out event can be attributed to several factors including this year's impressive line-up of performers including Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, Julian "JuJu" Marley, Ky-mani "Maestro" Marley, Sizzla, Capleton, Mr. Cheeks and Gentleman, Germany reggae singjay, who made his debut performance in Miami.

The organization and promotion of the festival was a notch above previous years as well. According to Woody Graber, of Graber and Associates, who has served as PR Consultant for the Festival for several years now, this year's impressive show, organization and turnout will be memorialized in everyone's mind until next year. When asked what can be expected next year, Mr. Graber was quick to point out that " next year will be the fifteenth year so it is going to be a big party."
Next year will definitely be a milestone to triumph. This Special Event, states Mr. Graber, "in the last 14 years has collected over 2 million cans of food and distributed through Farm Share, a non-profit company, to the homeless and needy in South Florida and Jamaica as well as other Caribbean Nations. Although the cans of food will be distributed to well deserved families, it should be noted that this event creates a great source of financial income for the Bob Marley Movement as tickets were pre-sold at $30 eventually rose to $45 at the gate.

Marley-festival-capleton-reggae-bob-marley-dancehallB.jpgOn the upside, Mr. Solano, who has watched the festival ebb and flow over the years, was pleased with the organization. There were no security issues. "At the end of the day, we are here to make sure that people have a good safe time and they did." Mr. Solano, was proud to add that He has never had any security problems with the Bob Marley Movement Festival or any of the other reggae event held in the park. He accurately states that "the events are really about the vibes. People come from all over the world, meet and greet with friends and family and just have a good time, watching the concert with the water in the background and Jerk Chicken Smoke in the air, it gives everyone that back home feel."

As for the performances, the opening acts of Jahyut, Johnny Dread, Kevens and Kyenie did their dues to warm the crowd up in the anticipation of the headliners. By the time Gentleman, German Reggae Superstar, touched the stage, the crowd was warm and he did please them with his signature voice, charm and above par delivery of his hits like: Dem Gone and Love Chant. Sizzla delivered as well, he had the crowd railing and when he left the stage and hour and a half later, they still wanted more. The Fireman, Capleton, gave it to them in his signature blazing style. With hits like Gimme De Woman and Mashing Up the World, his over one hour set was also a crowd lifter.

The Band of Brothers, Marley that is, also kept the crowd energized. With each Brother taking turn, their excitement was renewed each time the mike passed. The highlight of the evening came when Capleton joined the Marleys on stage to add his lines to the famous Marleys, Capleton collaboration titled 'It Was Written'

Overall, the event was definitely historical, the venue reached capacity, Gentleman performed for the first time in Miami, collectively over 2 millions cans of food has been collected to date and fans can look forward to a bigger better festival next year as the festival enters it's 15th year.

Concert lovers can attend other upcoming event at Bayfront's Bicentennial Park as they await the 15th Annual Bob Marley Movement Festival. Coming soon are the Haitian Compa Festival and the Memorial Day Reggae Festival. Bicentennial Park is the sister park to Bayfront Park and Bayfront Amphitheater and it's used to accommodate crowds of 20,000 or more.