New Kingston and John Brown’s Body to headline Reggae Festival
CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Up-and-coming roots reggae sensations New Kingston will return to Sugarloaf’s annual Bud Light Reggae Festival April 6 to 9 as festival headliners, the resort announced this week. New Kingston will headline the Saturday-night show in Sugarloaf’s King Pine Room — a show that has sold out for five consecutive years.
Boston-based John Brown’s Body will make their first appearance at Reggae Fest since 2013, headlining a second King Pine Room concert on Friday, April 7.
Now in its 29th year, the annual Sugarloaf Reggae Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the season, attracting spring skiing and reggae enthusiasts for a weekend filled with non-stop live music, wild parties, and the deepest spring snow pack in the East.
From supporting act to headliner, New Kingston exploded onto the Sugarloaf Reggae Festival scene in 2016, with a sold out show in the Widowmaker Lounge. This year they will step up to the main stage in the King Pine Room on Saturday, April 8th
The grass-roots quartet, composed of brothers Courtney, Stephen and Tahir Panton, plus Father Courtney Sr., formed in the Panton family’s New York basement in 2006. As second-generation Jamaican- Americans influenced by a progressive New York upbringing, New Kingston pays homage to their roots with a unique sound that combines both traditional and contemporary reggae sensibilities.
The band self-released their first two full-length albums: In the Streets (2010) and Kingston University (2013), before signing with the popular New York-based record label, Easy Star Records, to produce Kingston City (2015). Most recently, the band released their EP, Kingston Fyah, July 29, 2016, before hitting the road with a national tour of the same name.
New Kingston will headline a group of seven reggae artists, including John Browns Body—a Sugarloaf Reggae Festival veteran and group that has been referred to as “America’s best reggae band.” John Brown’s Body will co-headline the festival with a performance Friday, April 7 in the King Pine Room.
Citing influences as varied as Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, and 311, John Brown’s Body has developed a reputation for originality, poignancy, and energetic live performances. The seven-member group features a roots-style reggae sound, but incorporates dub, drum and bass, dancehall, hip hop and other musical explorations to create a sound booth timeless and forward. The group has shared the stage with a wide variety of performers, including Jurassic 5, The Dave Matthew’s Band, Lauryn Hill and Damian Marley.
Their eleventh studio album, Fireflies, was released Sept. 9 on Easy Star Records, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae charts.
Six additional bands will perform on three different stages throughout the weekend, including Gorilla Finger Dub, Dub Kartel, Zeme Libre, CatchaVibe, Royal Hammer, and Green Lion Crew.
All outdoor music on the Beach will be free and open to all ages.
Concert access to see Zeme Libre in the Widowmaker Lounge Thursday night will be $5 at the door, for anyone 21 or over.
Access to Friday’s performances by John Brown’s Body in the King Pine Room and Dub Kartel in the Widowmaker Lounge is just $15 now thru March 15.
Concert access to Saturday’s performances by New Kingston in the King Pine Room and Royal Hammer in the Widowmaker Lounge is just $25 now thru March 15.
Good Vibes passes to access all Thursday, Friday and Saturday night entertainment in the King Pine Room and Widowmaker Lounge are on sale now for just $35 per person thru March 15.
A limited number of Reggae Fest VIP Passes are also available for just $85 thru March 15, and provide access to all Thursday, Friday and Saturday night entertainment in the King Pine Room and Widowmaker Lounge and 22 oz. commemorative Reggae Fest mug that can be filled with beer for the price of a 16 oz. draft, priority line access to King Pine Room and Widowmaker, as well as access to special VIP lines at designated bars.
No outside alcohol may be brought into any venue, and all bags and coolers are subject to search.
All-inclusive ski and stay packages are also available for Reggae Weekend.
For more information on Sugarloaf and the Bud Light Reggae Festival, visit www.sugarloaf.com/reggae.