I was blessed with free tickets for the Chiemsee Reggae Festival this year. So I took it upon me to actually spend 9 hours on overbooked trains into deepest bavaria (no shit! a few more kilometers further I got a text message saying I left german net coverage).
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend attending CRS as a paying guest if you’re older than 23 and really into reggae. The majority of the people there is as much into dancehall and reggae as it is into techno-acts like Deichkind, last years headliner. The whole event takes place in bavaria and thus the place is filled with undercover cops (on their website CRS prides itself for its good cooperation with the local police) eager to catch you with a joint to add to their career. I’m not much into weed myself but I still find the idea of reggae without smoking rastas estranging. So actually the whole thing reminded me of some kind of 25000-people-highschool-senior-party. Not bad, but much too young for me and not my vibe.
Apart from that I have to aknowledge that the surroundings where just great. The whole Alps scenery and the fresh water of the river running through the festival area are really special. And beer was cheap, too ;-)
Anyway, it’s about the music. So here’s what I saw: Junior Kelly sucked massive. Max Romeo was simply boring. Third World did their thing quite professionally and where good at it. Hans Söllner of course had a home game and Peter Fox did quite a show, despite seeming not quite healthy. But, after all, I am not much into big stages and thus I had most of the fun at the tent.
There I saw Phenomden, a Swiss based reggae singer/mc. He actually sings in his native laguage, which gives his vocals a strange groove and tone I really like. The performance with the Scrucialists was absolutely tight and got me dancing all the way through.
Paprika Korps, a Polish dub band had the misfortune of being one of the first acts to play on sundy. Nontheless they did their best, playing a mixture of laydback dub tunes and really forward electric guitar tunes. I believe they are quite known in Poland and I had heard tracks of them before that didn’t impress me much. But after this concert I’ll have a second look. For sure, I recommend seeing them live!
I had only a short glimpse at Oceana, but was quite imressed with her presence on stage. There was some serious soul funk going on :-)