Now in its 16th consecutive year, the event previously known as the Victoria Ska Festival is shaking things
The organizers of the long-running musical showcase have changed the name to include "Reggae." It's a
simple addition that has been long overdue for the event. The first few iterations of the festival featured
primarily acts in the vein of traditional ska, two-tone, and ska-punk, but over time the festival has grown to
include a variety of performers in related styles. Genres such as rocksteady, Afrobeat, Latin, hip hop, dub,
roots-rock, dancehall, calypso, drum n' bass, punk rock, r&b, soul, and funk have all been represented in
varying capacities. That being said, the most represented genre within the ska family has been the laid-
back and groovin' style of reggae.
Despite a handful of surges in popularity, ska is a relatively underground genre. However, its descendant
reggae is a worldwide phenomenon. "Adding the word 'reggae' in the festival's title more accurately
describes the programming we have presented the past ten years," says creative director Dane Roberts.
"We also think it will engage people in the community that may think of the festival as only 'ska'."
But don't worry, you can still call it "Ska Fest" for short.
In terms of the festival itself, concert-goers should expect more of what they've loved about the past 15
instalments. Victoria's 16th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival will run from July 1st to the 5th in a variety of
venues around the Canadian city's downtown core. The central day venue will remain "Ship Point", a
gorgeous stage in Victoria's Inner Harbour which utilizes the sprawling Pacific Ocean as its backdrop. The
festival will consist of both ticketed and free events, the latter of which will be funded in part by a
crowdfunding campaign that saw fans contribute over 11,000 dollars.
While a full lineup announcement will occur at a later date, the festival has already announced two
performers: legendary California ska/reggae/soul practitioners Hepcat, and iconic ska-punk group Mustard