The 5th Annual Dry Diggings Festival has created an extra special and surprisingly mature vibe, out of the Cali Roots youthFull norm. The all to common dusty festival environs are welcomely absent as the paved parking lot and sidewalks leading to the entrance of the venue makes for a convenient easy and calm entrance into the fairgrounds of Irieness. On the right, campers huddle side by side in a communal, post natural disaster tenement yard fashion while skaters rage the park on the left. Continuing on the sidewalk past the RV campers, a right turn places you directly inside the abundantly delicious food court aisle. At the far end, a quick left through the overhead misters draws you up the concrete steps, exposing a tight but sprawling concert bowl. The towering mainstage flanked by a wonderfully small but lifted hillside allows you to gaze over the crowd for a bird’s-eye mezzanine like stage view. At the far reaches of the scene, large trees shade a culturally colorful craft vendor marketplace, bursting with variety.
The roots of Reggae have grown into a blossoming and vibrant tree with many branches. After some years of separation within the genre, the signs are apparent that oneness within the reggae genre has become the order of the day. A star studded lineup showcased the best of the domestic artists like Fortunate Youth, Slightly Stoopid and Rebelution, new riser Protoje and the veteran revolutionaries Steel Pulse, to name but a few of the 3 days’ offering. Add a elevation rise from the central valley’s scorching summer heat, Dry Diggins is literally a breath of fresh air, drawing a huge crowd from California and beyond with posse’s from Sacramento, Grass Valley/Nevada City, Truckee/Tahoe noticeably representing. Dry Diggins is a well planned and professionally executed Labor day gathering, worthy to be praised.