Hop Farm in Kent is an ideal location for this year’s One Love reggae festival. Easy to get to from London and Brighton, the camp site has great facilities (hot showers at a camp site is definitely my kind of camping) and there’s no great mission to walk from where the car is parked to where you pitch your tent to where the actual festival stages are located.
The food stalls were all good (in particular “Just desserts” who sold just about every type of cake and pie you could think of) and I got to sample some “Marley Coffee”, an ital, organically grown coffee with the slogan “Stir it up”, produced by Bob’s son Rohan Marley.
But what of the music? Over the course of the three sunny days, we got to see great sets from Macka B (who played a good song from his new album about racism in football), Michigan, Frankie Paul (who was in great voice and mentioned that he now lives in Gambia), a great crowd pleasing set from Freddie McGregor, Earl Gateshead and the Trojan Sound System (yeah, yeah!), Dennis Alcapone, Tappa Zukie and Cornell Campbell.
There were also great sets from King Tubbys Hi-Fi, Alpha and Omega, Nick Manassah and Don Letts (who was kept off the decks by the previous crew over running by half an hour only to find the sound was lacking in bass for the whole of his set even though his selections were great). A day long soundclash between the mighty Coxsone and Saxon sound systems was also a great highlight, both sounds unleashing lots of dubs made especially for them by people like Tippa Irie and Junior Murvin.
Lots of great music along with a cinema tent showing various reggae related films and an appearance by Michael de Souza, the creator of “Rastamouse” telling stories in rhyming patois with help from his audience.
A family friendly, small scale festival with a great vibe. One Love is definitely worth catching when it comes around again next year. Me and the missus loved it.