Positive Vibrations returned for its second instalment of reggae in the Baltic Triangle and has been a huge success this year.
It’s easy to see why it has won the ‘Best New Festival’ award and what looks like a heavily-anticipated feature of Liverpool’s music scene for years to come.
Taking over Constellations, Hangar 34 and District and with a street market in between, the whole Baltic Triangle area was bustling with positive vibrations.
The festival kicked off with a collaboration between the International Reggae Poster contest and Positive Vibrations. This showcased 100 reggae-inspired posters, designed by illustrators and artists from all over the world.
Event organisers described their mission as doing their bit to help the cause of “often overlooked and always underrepresented” reggae music, which has had “a significant impact on British music, society & culture, and should be celebrated A LOT more.”
On Saturday afternoon we were greeted by some lovely people who had travelled from all parts of the country to bring their goods to Liverpool. Our first stop was a cider tent from Somerset (where else!).
The unique angle to this was not the 7.5% volume but the fact it was slush! Needless to say, it was an interesting start to the evening.
Other stalls included Baltic neighbours, HOBO KIOSK. They ended up with their own stage with passers-by gathering to watch the show:
Alternative stalls included massage tents and some fantastic vinyl sales that could keep you browsing for hours.
Baltic Creative’s car park was transformed into a giant food court opposite the main entrance to Hanger 34 which made good timing to try out some slow cooked meats in a nice wrap before experiencing The Selecter.
Local veggie heroes, Ital Fresh, were producing some of our favourites such as spicy Cauli wings and sweet potato fries.
You can find out more about Ital Fresh here
The outside area of Constellations was adorned in carnival decorations and giant flowers with an amazing atmosphere of hundreds of happy dancers.
Headliners included 2-tone heroes The Selecter, seminal dub producer Scientist and dreadlocked DJ Don Letts.
The Selecter caught the eyes of many as the headliner, playing their several top 40 hits. The band – who formed in the 90s – based their name on the Jamaican word ‘selector’, which means disc jockey.
On the Friday night, District was transformed into a sweaty, incense-filled bass pit, with meditative dub music and wall hangings of Haile Selassie and sub tones brought by Aba-Shanti-I Soundsystem.
The energy in the crowd was great and the vibes made you feel like you were on holiday, despite the classic UK weather.
Student, Yasmin Qasimova, 21, praised the
“variety of atmospheres in the different venues” and added: “The music was rad.”
The Sinai Sound System take-over Saturday night at Hangar 54 provided authentic, bouncy steppas beats to a dreadlocked crowd, with plenty of shout-outs, live vocals and bass weight.
Chef Arianna Kearns, 21, said: “I absolutely loved it. I can’t believe I haven’t been before.”
We caught a few bands such as Mount Nakara in Constellations Garden and them guys were absolutely superb.
Mount Nakara brought sound system culture to the stage with an upbeat, bass heavy live performance. The result is a fresh take on UK roots music.
Inside there was an exhibition of Rastafari tinted artwork, with DJs and MCs dominating the massive stage.
Liverpool music-scene stalwart, DJ Buddha, called it “the biggest and best reggae event Liverpool has ever seen.”
Article by James Jackson