Update: Raggamuffin has moved to Auckland.
Herbs – the pioneers of Pacific Reggae, Ali Campbell’s UB40, and Toots and the Maytals drew us to Raggamuffin 2013. Some of the headline acts for 2014 are Shaggy, Morgan Heritage and Damian Marley. New Zealand artists include Tiki Taane, House of Shem and Sons of Zion, more acts will be announced in the run up to the 31 Jan/1 Feb event.
One love summed up the festival vibe for us. Rasta colours and Bob Marley images were everywhere – if you leave your Rasta themed outfit at home, no worries mon, there’s lots of merchandise for sale.
Rotorua roasted under the summer sun but a decent sprinkler system kept us cool, and a permanent grandstand provided some shade. You can upgrade to a VIP package if you’re after premium views and no portaloos. If you don’t pack your own jam’n’cheese sandwiches there’s mobile food and drink options onsite – in 2013 there was a Kava Lounge.
AWOP facilitated a cashless society for the day – for the uninitiated that means you top up your wristband via cash, EFTPOS or credit card at an AWOP kiosk. When you make a purchase your wristband is swiped, no cash is exchanged with vendors – hats off to the AWOP inventors. (In 2013 there was a $5 charge to use the AWOP system, it was the only way to purchase food and drink so if you don’t want to use it you’ll need to BYO – see conditions of entry).
I got camera happy snapping photos of Rasta fashion on the field – Damian Marley will see how much his father is revered Down Under when he performs in 2014.