For Rotterdam Reggae Festival

Europe's biggest port and second biggest city in Holland, Rotterdam, sees its first ever Reggae Festival this Easter Sunday, featuring a bumper crop of dancehall and reggae stars.

Confirmed acts include man of the moment Vybz Kartel, Energy God himself Elephant man, spirit of Marley Jah Cure, veteran Jamaican lovesong stars Chaka Demus & Pliers, roots rasta (and brother of Pliers) Richie Spice, pioneer Jamaican dancehall queen Tanya Stephens and spiritual lovers rocker Duane Stephenson, together with Dutch reggae acts and, from this side of the channel, British reggae artist of the decade Gappy Ranks.

Rotterdam, known as the Gateway to Europe, will need to be big if only to accommodate the reputation of the headliner Vybz Kartel. Undisputed number one in the dancehall scene, his list of hits including Clarks, Straight Jeans & Fitted, Romping Shop have recently been joined by Dancehall Hero and Gimme Di Benz Punany.

These last two show the new Kartel: so influential that people will swallow anything he chooses to put in their mouths (Dancehall Hero). In case you're eating your dinner as you read this I won't say what he used as an example! And Benz Punany shows his taste in sex has gone upmarket too - images not of bicycles anymore, but Mercs.

Local artists include Kalibwoy & Ras Motivated, plus the always chilled and enjoyable Punky Donch.

Venue is the ten thousand seater Ahoy Arena which previously has accommodated Destiny's Child, Alannis Morrisette, Shakira, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden, as well as being the home of the North Sea Jazz Festival.

So, big venue, big location - and it's certainly kicking off with big talent.

One catch: tickets are only available to purchasers in Holland but at time of writing I'm told you'll be able to get in no problem on the door.

Stay tuned for a full report from the event next week.

Words by Reshma B (

Event details:

Rotterdam Reggae Festival
WHEN: Sunday 24th Feb 2011 16:00-00:00 (show starts 1700)
WHERE: Ahoy, Ahoy-weg, 10 384, BA Rotterdam
TICKETS (euros): seat 39.50, pitches 45, VIP 75

WHERE: Outland Rotterdam Prins Alexanderlaan 37
WHEN: 2300-0500
TICKETS (euros): 10 (presale only)


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