Skip to main content

Summer Solstice Heats Up at the 24th Edition of SNWMF

By July 7, 2017Articles
SNWMF 2017-Capleton photo-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Summary by Hal Wendlinger

Photos by Lee Abel

The 24th edition of the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival occurred this June 16-18th at it’s recurring home in Boonville, California. For this one weekend a year, this normally quiet town lives up to it’s affectionately given nickname of “Boomville.” The festival normally occurs in conjunction with the Summer Solstice, usually making for perfect weather throughout the weekend, however this year’s concert featured temperatures commonly found on the surface of the sun.


SNWMF 2017_Mellow Mood-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Italian based Mellow Mood performed an enthusiastic set which featured twin brothers Jacob and L.O. Garzia entertaining the crowd with their familial chemistry.

Friday morning for most patrons was spent setting up their camp, so when the music began playing around 5 in the afternoon, waves of people ventured into the bowl surrounding the main stage which is referred to as the “Valley Stage.”  With the sun finally dropping below the mountains, Jamaican star Chronixx came to the stage, following Mellow Mood, and meticulously worked his way through a set filled with a great variety of his older music along with many of his newer cuts.





Chronixx has a unique ability to captivate his audience, one that has kept him at the front of the ‘Reggae Revival.’

SNWMF 2017-Gentleman-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Headlining the first night of the festival was Germany’s own Reggae star, Gentleman. Bounding onto stage, much to the approval of all in attendance, Gentleman delivered a beautiful performance playing smash hits and deeper cuts from throughout his nearly 20 year career, leaving the crowd begging for more, even after his encore concluded.  







SNWMF 2017-Marla Brown-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Saturday began with a nostalgic moment with Marla Brown performing at the “Village stage.” The youngest child of Reggae icon Dennis Brown, Marla brought a refreshing flavor to some of her fathers greatest hits in between performing her original tunes. I’m confident in saying that this won’t be the last we hear of this rising star

SNWMF 2011-Anthony B-Lee Abel Photography -Island Stage Magazine

Around 7pm, just as the weather began to become tolerable, Anthony B raised the temperature of the audience with a blazing hot set. With his conscious lyrics and powerful voice, this respected veteran of the industry brought his endless energy to the appreciative crowd

  The crowd, feeding off of the energy created by Anthony B’s set, waited in anticipation for the next artist to come to the stage.

SNWMF 2017 Tarrus Riley-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Serenading the audience the way that very few other artists could manage, Tarrus Riley once again gave his heart and soul to the adoring fans. Along with band leader and legendary saxophonist Dean Fraser, Riley treated everyone in attendance to nearly 2 hours of conscious Reggae music.

SNWMF 2017-Capleton-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine


Meanwhile, on the “Village” stage, Keith & Tex took the audience on a musical journey through 50 plus years of rocksteady rhythms.

 Often times at music festivals with lineups as impressive as this years SNWMF, there comes a time when the difficult decision on which artist to watch has to be made. Starting within 30 minutes of each other on opposite stage was the dancehall legend Capleton and the legendary rocksteady duo of Keith & Tex. “The Fireman” tore through numerous hit singles as well as some of his lesser known tunes. For those who have been fortunate enough to witness Capleton perform, it is evident how he has maintained a stranglehold as one of the top artists in the industry for 30 years running.

SNWMF 2017-Lee Scratch Perry-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

As Saturday night shifted into Sunday morning, the dancehall filled up to see and hear the one of a kind Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry play his unique selections. With over 70 years of experience in the business, fans of all ages came to pay homage to the selector.


Although Sunday’s music was somewhat overshadowed by temperatures well over 100 degrees, a few brave souls spent the entire afternoon camped in front of the stages to see the various acts. A highlight of the music featured earlier in the day was South Korean reggae band NST & The Soul Sauce, playing on the smaller stage to a more intimate setting.

 Much of my Sunday was spent avoiding the heat at all costs, unfortunately missing several artists I was looking forward to seeing such as Gappy Ranks and Third World. As darkness filled the sky, the area in front of the main stage became the gathering spot to see the one and only Barrington Levy make his return to SNWMF. Levy treated the audience to an entire catalog of his greatest hits, even debuting new cuts from his upcoming projects. As the stage lights turned on, those who had energy left to dance made their way to the dancehall to partake in the ‘Silent Dance,’ something you’d have to see to believe. Upon entering the dancehall, a pair of wireless headphones is handed to each person with different station options. It was an interesting sight to see the different dancing that each person was doing, especially not knowing exactly what they were listening to.

SNWMF 2017 Gappy Ranks-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Gappy Ranks

SNWMF 2017-Third World-Lee Abel Photography-Island Stage Magazine

Third World

SNWMF 2017-Barrington Levy-Lee Abel Photography - Island Stage Magazine

Barrington Levy




Silent Dance Hall

Leave a Reply