Alberta Avenue is transforming for a fun-filled festival for Reggae on the Ave, a celebration of Caribbean culture and reggae music. The festival is a platform for local and international artists to showcase their music, and a way for local businesses to highlight their products and crafts.
“We started in 2014 and we’ve definitely grown since the first year,” says Kevin Simpson, vice president of the Edmonton Reggae Festival Society. “We had a really good eight years, and then there was COVID, but the last couple of years, we’ve gotten our foot back in the door. And this year, we’re hoping to be a bit bigger and getting closer to when we first started.”
This year’s festival features over 60 performers, including Canadian rapper and actress Michie Mee. One of the biggest changes this year is that the musical lineup includes a diverse range of genres from reggae and R&B to Indigenous music and hip hop.
There will be food trucks on site, and the festival will also have its own food tent with food and drinks.
“My favourite part of this festival is the diverse community that we see there,” says Simpson. “It’s pretty awesome to sit back and see what we’ve built for the community and for the youth. We are a nonprofit organization, so really we do this for our community, and when I say community, I mean the community of Edmonton.”
Reggae on the Ave takes place at 9210 118 Ave. from noon to 10 p.m. on August 20. Advance tickets are $40 and are available online or at select locations including Eat Jamaican, Spice World and Revolver Records. Or, tickets are $50 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free.