Reggae Carifest is a nonstop musical celebration of Caribbean culture and cuisine, which features some of the finest artists and musicians. Past shows are talked about with passion. Memories flow and the music thumps â€¦ It is a day to be enjoyed by all! At Reggae Carifest, you are likely to run into old friends you have not seen in years and make new friends who share your love of music.
Reggae Carifest was launched in 1998, at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, with the awesome sounds of Lucky Dube, Steel Pulse, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, and Maxi Priest, to name a few of the artists who performed. After two years at Forest Hills, the action moved to Downing Stadium, Randall's Island where Reggae Carifest remained "sold out" and became a highly anticipated summer event for another two years. In 2003, the festival moved back to Forest Hills, to the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium. In 2004, Reggae Carifest will move to Keyspan Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
Who is behind the success of this annual production? The Reggae Carifest team includes a culturally diverse group of individuals—Junior E. Burton, Phillip Benn, Lorraine Muir, Michael Samuels, Kevin Burton, Durand Auguste, and Nicole Williams—whose aim, according to Benn, is "to make Reggae Carifest inclusive of all genres of music, bringing people of all nations of the Caribbean, African Americans and, generally, a diverse audience together."
In 2004, Reggae Carifest moved to Keyspan Park, Coney Island, Brooklyn at the invitation of Keyspan management. Keyspan Park is easily accessible by mass transit (2 blocks from subway) and seating offers a view of the ocean. The venue is also within walking distance of the beach and Coney Island Amusement Park.
There is, of course, a Food Court and Arts and Craft village. Major sound systems for Reggae Carifest have included Massive B, of HOT 97, Steelie Bashment, Fun Factory & Infinity Sounds. Major sponsors for the event include VP Records and Legendary Records.