About This Festival
Wilkswood Farm|Wilkswood Farm, High Street, Langton Matravers, Dorset BH19 3HD, Langton Matravers, United Kingdom | Map
Help us improve this description:Suggest an Edit
From the Organizer
Horace Andy, the veteran reggae singer, whose acclaimed 2022 album Midnight Rocker made the top ten in all the end-of-year critics' awards, will headline this year's Wilkswood Reggae Festival in Dorset in July. Widely acknowledged as one of the most influential and distinctive reggae voices, Horace began recording in the late 60s and his profile was further raised in the 1990s with his contributions to all five albums by trip hop pioneers Massive Attack. Now a positively youthful 72, Horace doesn't tour as often these days so to have him appearing at this year's festival represents quite a coup. Held in wooded Purbeck farmland in Langton Matravers on the outskirts of Swanage in Dorset, the Wilkswood Reggae Festival presents three days of reggae and with three nights camping from Friday July 21st to Sunday July 23rd 2023. This year's festival will again see reggae legends rub shoulders with upcoming artists and DJs from the UK and abroad with over 50 acts performing across three stages. Along with Horace Andy, headliners on the main stage this year include Hollie Cook, once of new wave icons The Slits and daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul, Kiko Bun with his unique blend of reggae and hip hop, Roots Daughters, an all-female showcase featuring Sista Aisha, Awa Fall and Redhead QI presented by Mad Professor's Ariwa label and the Geneva-based Evidence Music collective featuring Brother Culture. The Jah Spirit Sound System arena will again feature exclusive takeovers on each of the days from three of the UK's top sound systems. Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti-I and Channel One will all be appearing with their own custom-built speaker rigs. It's rare for these genuine sound systems to appear outside of the street carnival environment and they will all be contributing to the 'Notting-Hill-by-the-Sea' vibe. The Mighty Jah Shaka Soundsystem was booked to play before his sad passing in April 2023 so instead the festival will present a Tribute to Jah Shaka featuring some of the DJs and singers that the great man worked and performed with. Elsewhere Bass Choir with MC Crazy D, poet Raymond Antrobus and a multitude of sound systems, deejays and producers will perform alongside a collection of acoustic and spoken word acts on the outdoor Bang Mix Stage. And, for those reggae diehards for whom a weekend just isn't enough, the festival offers a 'bonus' day on Thursday 20th July (for a nominal extra fee) featuring a late night DJ set by widely lauded Leeds soundsystem Iration Steppas. Founded in 2016, Wilkswood Reggae is a family-friendly festival and there is plenty to keep your little ones entertained including a dedicated kid's field and a wooded clearing featuring storytelling, nature trails and music. There will also be free workshops in beatboxing, urban dance and rap performance. To encourage the whole family to come along, there are reduced prices for children up to the age of 17 and under-3s are free. With a capacity limited to 2,500, the festival is relaxed and intimate and is perfect for families with young children or people who just don't like huge crowds. Both the Main Stage and the Soundsystem Arena are under cover so the music carries on whatever the weather. Elsewhere there's a chillout zone, street food stalls (including a Jamaican jerk barbecue, wood-fired pizza and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options), the main bar serving draught beer, ice cold lager and a varied selection of ciders and scrumpies as well as the Rumshak's infamous rum cocktails. Merchandise stalls selling hats, clothing, jewellery, bells and whistles complete the festival experience. Organiser Dave Mountjoy is sure this year will be the best yet: "Each year we look to improve on the previous year's lineup and we think we've managed that again. The success of Horace Andy's Midnight Rocker album meant we had to pull out the stops but we were determined he should be one of our headliners this year. Alongside Hollie Cook, Kiko Bun and the Roots Daughters we've got some of the finest live reggae acts in the UK. And, in Aba Shanti-I, Channel One and Iration Steppas, we've got some of the best UK sound systems to really contribute to that whole carnival vibe." Organised by Bournemouth’s Hard Way Promotions, the festival takes place over three days (or four with a Bonus Thursday ticket) at Wilkswood Farm in Langton Matravers and the ticket price includes full admission as well as camping and parking for three nights. There is a glamping field with pre-pitched tents and campervans and caravans are welcome (for a small additional fee). Tickets are selling fast and it expected that the festival will sell out again this year. There are a limited number of early bird tickets still for sale and there are discounted family ticket bundles available at https://wilkswoodreggae.com/tickets<https://wilkswoodreggae.com/tickets>.