Get ready for a day chock full of all things positive, bringing celebration, awareness, education, community, music, yoga and more in Ithaca, New York! The Friends of Cayuga Lake are presenting the very first annual Ithaca Reggae Fest, and it’s happening Saturday, June 24th, 2017. 

Rooting from the strongly held truth that “Water is Life,” Ithaca Reggae Fest was created to generate awareness around the sustainability and protection of Cayuga Lake — the longest of Central New York’s glacial Finger Lakes. The festival is essentially a spirited all-day bash devoted to the conservation of the lake through the promotion and education of Ithaca’s historical reggae culture and community.

Start your Saturday with morning yoga at Stewart Park from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by a full day of live music and water education through ’til 8 p.m. at night. Following the Stewart Park Festivities, festival patrons can catch Michael Franti at the State Theater from 8 p.m. through to 12 a.m. thanks to DSP Shows, then make their way to the official Ithaca Reggae Fest Afterparty at the Haunt from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.

Live performances include John Brown’s Body, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Kevin Kinsella, Thunder Body, The Analogue Sons, Root Shock, Bomb Pulse, DJ haMEEN, DJ Solar Lion (Harmonic Temple), and Stereo Ark Soundsystem. The festival just threw their official pre-party featuring Kevin Kinsella playing with the Crucial Reggae Social Club during Ithaca Beer’s FYAH IPA Release Party. This FYAH IPA will be the official “Festival Beer” of the day, so be sure to grab yourself a pint (or three) of this special batch local beer.

The day is about much more than music, however. Festival attendees have the opportunity to attend talks by multiple prominent speakers relevant to the mission and drive behind the first Ithaca Reggae Fest. Speakers will include Chief Sam (Cayuga Nation), Svante Myrick (Mayor of Ithaca), Christian Shaw (Founder of Plastic Tides) and Walter Hang (Founder of Toxic Targeting).

Another huge initiative Ithaca Reggae Fest is its plastic-free mission. All vendors and companies involved must use compostable service materials, so all beverages will be served in a reusable commemorative Klean Kanteen festival pint. Better yet, all guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles, which they can refill at the various water stations throughout the venue.

With so much goodness — both in mission and musically — packed into a Saturday in Ithaca, it is safe to say the first Ithaca Reggae Fest will be a rip-roaring and awareness-driving day for humans of all ages and interests. Tickets and more information are available here and be sure to check out the complete lists of Water Protectors organizations, vendors, and sponsors below. See you June 24th at the first Ithaca Reggae Fest, New York!

Water Protector Organizations

Collaborating with us to provide education and opportunities for protecting and restoring the lake: Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Cayuga Nation, Hydrilla Task Force, Finger Lakes Land Trust, Community Science Institute, Floating Classroom, Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, Plastic Tides, Cayuga Waterfront Trail, Friends of Stewart Park, Paddle ‘N More, New Roots Charter School, Yoga for the Earth, and more…

words: B.Getz/Sydney Paschall