The Crusader Newspaper Group

Toots & The Maytals returns to stage at Reggae Fest Chicago

The NEW 411

By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader

Chicago’s New Music Festival One Day, One Love Concert with Iration, Lee “Scratch” Perry, HEPCAT and More – August 13 in Addams Medill Park

The One Day, One Love concert is a celebration of various genres, including ska, reggaeton, roots reggae, and world music. Curated by Chicago music venue, Subterranean, two stages of non-stop live programming will feature the legendary Toots & the Maytals, Lee “Scratch” Perry, HEPCAT, Budos Band, Derrick Morgan and many more. Limited tickets are still available for the inaugural Reggae Fest Chicago on Saturday, August 13 in Addams Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th Street (entrance at 15th Street & Loomis). Visit for the complete live music line up and to purchase tickets.

The iconic Toots & the Maytals hasn’t played here since 2010 – and hasn’t played at all since 2013. His return to the stage is expected to present a great deal of excitement as will his range of music. Toots is roots, contemporary and world beat all packed in one. Direct support to Toots & the Maytals is Iration, a contemporary reggae band from California that continues to rise. Their first recording in 2006 introduced a current, very relevant band that appeals to the modern style of reggae listener and the roots loyalist. Direct support to Iration is Lee “Scratch” Perry, a true legend in reggae who introduced the world to dub and produced music with Bob Marley. HEPCAT is a ska/reggae band that formed in southern California in 1989. Their soulful harmonies and mellow rhythms were unlike those of contemporaries and more akin to musicians from the heyday of 1960s Jamaican ska. HEPCAT’s appearance is the band’s first in the Windy City since the late 90’s and their first major gig outside of California in almost 20 years.

Hosted by Subterranean’s DJ Papa G, DJ J Niice from B96, and DJ Chuck Wren from WLUW-FM, two adjacent stages will alternate set times so everyone in attendance can catch every act. For those with a general admission ticket, the expansive Addams Medill Park offers a large grassy area for chilling out and taking in all the bands. For the die-hard reggae lover, the premium “Irie” VIP ticket offers a closer stage viewing area, specialty bars, and additional accommodations such as more porto-potties and bleacher seating.

Retail Vendors, Food & Drink

The event will also feature a wide variety of local food vendors, local food trucks, handmade artisan and free trade vendors with an emphasis on Caribbean styles and flavors, and plenty of ice-cold Heineken and Red Stripe beer and island-themed cocktails.

Live Art Making & Soccer Activities Onsite

Reggae Fest Chicago – One Day, One Love – is a family-friendly event, with fun-filled entertainment planned for all ages, including live art-making onsite by Chicago Truborn gallery artists. Section 8 Chicago will also be providing small sided soccer games and soccer tennis activities onsite for kids and adults. Section 8 Chicago is the Independent Supporters’ Association for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. As an independent supporters’ association, they strive to create an exciting and unique environment for the Chicago Fire team and its fans. Guests are invited to come kick it with Section 8 Chicago!

Original artwork for Reggae Fest Chicago will be created by graphic artist CHema Skandal, who is also a reggae supporter and enthusiast. He has created artwork for reggae artists all around the globe, including the likes of Charley Organaire, Hepcat, Mad Professor & Pama International, Intensified, and Caroloregians – as well as Ska & Reggae festivals in London, Germany, France and Mexico City. Reggae Fest Chicago merchandise designed by CHema will be available for sale onsite.

Local Benefactors

20 percent of the Reggae Fest Chicago proceeds will be donated to local non-profits including A Safe Haven; A Safe Haven will also be onsite with our other non-profit partners promoting their programs and services.

Reggae Fest Chicago is co-produced by Optimum Events LLC and Subterranean. Other successful Chicago events produced by members of this team include Do Division Street Fest, West Fest, Wicker Park Fest, Green Music Fest, and Pilsen Food Truck Social.

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