Promoting cultural unity with music
Editors note: Tamara Jones is a DJ at Radio Free Minturn. Shes profiling some of this summers reggae music festivals in Colorado and beyond. This is the first article in a series of three.Many people moved to the Rocky Mountains to escape the urban rat race and preserve something natural and pristine within their bodies and souls. As summer approaches, mountain folks plan their vacations, sometimes seeking rest and respite, other times looking for a celebration. One such destination offering both is the 15th annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, being held June 20 to 22 in Mendocino County, Calif. This three-day event transcends the divisions of race and culture to build a conscious micro-community celebrating the universal spirit of music. Two stages, a campground and a festival village form a weekend utopia that you might eagerly adapt as your temporary home and, as some have found, may not want to leave.The two stages host diverse artists from around the world, all with an emphasis on conscious music, or music with promotes cultural unity. Reggae is strongly represented at the festival. There are more than 20 artists scheduled to perform this year, including Buju Banton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Wailing Souls and Sister Carol. Music continues with a late- night dancehall showcasing two of the worlds most popular reggae DJ acts, Stone Love and David Rodigan.The Sierra Nevada World Music Fest is an affordable destination offering a family camping area in addition to a campground with showers. Children attend the festival for free with a paying adult. There are childrens programs throughout the weekend, including dance and music workshops and other entertainment. The festival village is a temporary world market with quality crafts and enough cuisine to suit any hungry fans palate. Exquisite food, world-class crafts and artwork will be offered from such places as India, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Indonesia and West Africa.Festivalgoers may start their day with an outdoor yoga group, have an exotic and healthy meal in the village, dance in the sun while hearing the best in world music, meet new friends and neighbors at your nearby campsite, browse the crafts and social and environmental tables in the marketplace and finish the day with more music under the stars or in the late-night dancehall.Getting to the festival from Colorado is easy; flights from Denver to Oakland, Calif., offer a quick getaway, and you can easily rent a car at the airport. If you have more time to extend your vacation, a road trip may be the best way to see beautiful Northern California. A three-day festival pass is $135; camping is extra. Tickets are available online or via mail order. For the complete artist line-up and for more information, visit http://www.snwmf.com or call 916-777-5550.E-mail comments or questions about this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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