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International Reggae Day on the 1st of July is an annual ‘Celebration of Global Reggae Culture,’ held in Kingston, Jamaica. This year’s celebrations also include events in Slovenia as well as the UK.

So, what do we know about this popular music?

Life before Marley?

To many, Bob Marley was reggae. His contribution to reggae is undeniable. He made the music a global phenomenon. So, was there life before Marley? Here’s a quick rough guide to reggae.

  • 1950s Ska was a rich blend of mento, calypso, jazz and rhythm and blues, came out of Jamaica
  • 1960s Rocksteady paved the way for what we now know as reggae
  • 1969   Roots reggae emerged and Bob Marley appeared on the scene with the Wailers
  • 1970s Bob Marley became a solo performer
  • 1980s Dancehall appeared
What’s the history behind International Reggae Day?

When Winnie and Nelson Mandela visited Jamaica in 1993, Winnie made a speech about the impact reggae had on South Africans whilst they struggled against Apartheid. Listening to that speech was music administrator Andrea Davis. Feeling inspired Davis decided that there needed to be some recognition of reggae and its influence worldwide. In 1994, her vision was realised with International Reggae Day.

How will you celebrate?

All lovers of reggae and reggae culture know that it is all about the vibes. Good vibes. Want some of those good vibes, but can’t get to Kingston? If you are looking for a positive and relaxed atmosphere and you want to meet up with good friends and eat some great food, then why not join us at our brand-new Roots Lounge, where rum and reggae reside.

In our own corner of North London, via St Andrew, our DJ will be paying homage to your favourite and finest sounds from ‘Jamaica, land we love…’ while you choose from our specially crafted mouth-watering menu….

Photo courtesy of Kads Miida