An annual San Diego reggae music tradition that was born in 1981 and ran through 2016 will be re-born next year with a new name and a new promoter.
Entitled Boomshaka, the new event will be held on President’s Day, Feb. 19, at Valley View Casino Center. The lineup features San Diego’s Tribal Seeds, along with Stick Figure, The Original Wailers, Don Carlos, HIRIE, The Expanders and Aloha Radio.
Ticket go on sale Friday to the general public. Times and prices appear below.
Boomshaka is a joint venture by Tribal Seeds, Valley View Casino Center and Chris Goldsmith, who oversees the music talent booking department at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. Goldsmith also oversees talent booking for the Music Box downtown. He has won seven Grammy Awards for producing albums by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite.
The new reggae marathon concert seeks to fill the void left by Tribute to the Reggae Legends - formerly the Bob Marley Day Festival - which was produced by WorldBeat Center founder Makeda Dread.
Dread, who has done more to champion reggae in San Diego than anyone else, announced early last year that the 2016 edition of Tribute to the Reggae Legends would be the last.
“The reason I’m stopping the festival is I don’t want to compromise the music, or the legends who created it," Dread explained in a 2016 Union-Tribune interview. "If I kept doing it on a large level, I’d have to put more mainstream bands in the lineup. I’m focusing on the legends, who are dying. There are not many left.”
Goldsmith, who is the former bassist in the San Diego tropical-rock band Borracho y Loco, has not consulted with Dread about Boomshaka.
“The event doesn’t have any connection to Makeda,” Goldsmith said. “In fact, she may not even be aware of it yet, but she’s always welcome.”
Nevertheless, Goldsmith hopes the new festival will extend the legacy Dread created and sustained over the past four decades.
“The old Bob Marley Day festival at the Sports Arena was a deeply heartfelt tradition for many San Diegans,” Goldsmith said.
“It was like a bit of summer in the dead of winter. Since it went away, there’s been a hole in our music community that needed to be filled. The Belly Up is beyond stoked be a part of this really cool homegrown partnership with Tribal Seeds and the Valley View Casino Center team. And we’re all excited by the thought of having a new musical tradition to look forward to every February.”
The members of Tribal Seeds are similarly excited about the prospects for Boomshaka.
“We wouldn’t miss this festival,” the band said in a statement.
“This gives us a chance to play in our hometown of San Diego and join some other really talented artists. We’re looking forward to seeing our San Diego fans.”
Tickets for Boomshaka are priced at $48 for general admission, $85 for Gold Circle seating and $175 for VIP packages.
An online pre-sale will begin Wednesday. Tickets to the general public go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at axs.com and by phone at (888) 929-7849. Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. at the Valley View Casino Center box office at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd.