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Sounds of Jamaica to ring around Bowl
REGGAE beats will reverberate around the picturesque Old Town Bowl for the second year of a festival bringing some of the UK’s brightest acts to Wiltshire.
Veteran star Tippa Irie will treat fans to his lyrical dexterity at the beauty spot, as musicians from around the country join local performers and sound systems.
Reggae Garden took place at The Bell Hotel, in Old Town, last year but this weekend, organisers want to bring the British-Jamaican sounds to a bigger crowd.
Paul Bullimore, owner of Amber Audio which provides sound for concerts at the bowl, has teamed up with friend and reggae and hip hop artist AJ Mayhew to organise a show reflecting their love of the genre. Paul said: “The event at the Bell was a massive success last year.
“About 1,400 people turned up with a really lovely atmosphere, there were three generations of families and people from all cultures and backgrounds enjoying it together.
“It’s a big jump to do it at the Old Town Bowl, but we felt we needed to grow the event and we always thought the Bowl was Swindon’s jewel in the crown.
“It is such a beautiful backdrop and it will be about enjoying the space as well as the music.
“There will be food and stuff for the kids with things spread across the bowl rather than having everything focused on the stage.
“It will be a family event bringing the festival atmosphere to the bowl.”
Top billing goes to Tippa Irie, a reggae star from Brixton who shot to fame in the 1980s and has collaborated with Alexander O’Neal and The Black Eyed Peas.
“We are really proud of the line up,” Paul said. “It’s a mixture of local and UK talent. We have people who can’t believe that Tippa is coming out of London to headline an event at the Swindon bowl.”
The acts will be backed by the Birmingham-based Friendly Fire Band, which is fronted by Lion Art and Tomlin Mystic.
UK reggae star YT, who is vying to put the genre on a par with hip-hip and grime, is another headliner. Local boys AJ and Terrorist Nuclear are also on the bill, while Swindon’s Hotsteppers Dancers will perform fresh from their success at auditions for Sky One show Got to Dance.
The bill is completed by the Subajah Family, Peppery aka Bongo Chilli, Messenjah Youth and host Zeeks.
Reggae Garden takes place on Saturday between midday and 8pm at the Town Gardens venue.
Tickets are priced £15 for adults and £5 for under-12s with under-fives free.
Visit www.thereggaegarden.com or www.theticketsellers.co.uk or call Forum on 01793 480 051.