The One Love Festival was founded in 2008 to establish a fun, loving and respectful way to bring reggae fans from all over Europe and beyond together in peace and harmony.
I’d noticed the event being promoted through social media in 2013 but was unable to attend. When I noticed similar adverts for this year’s event timed just days after my birthday, and with no travel plans in place, I knew I’d be heading there.
With tickets priced around the £50 mark for a day ticket, it’s not cheap but very well justified with a day of entertainment and great atmosphere, packaged with a safe and secure environment to enjoy local and international artists paying homage to the philosophy of One Love with Conscience Roots and Dub Music.
Historically, the festival highlights the need for peace and unity. The namesake of the event is from Bob Marley and The Wailers performing at the One Love Peace concert in Kingston’s National Arena with other main-line reggae artists of the day, in an attempt to link Jamaica’s feuding political parties.
Against all the odds, Marley symbolically joined the hands of bitter rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga on stage. After this action took place at the concert, the opposing factions could see that their leaders had took a united stand and cooled down the conflict.
Below are a few of my favourite snaps and videos from the day.
The event brings together a great selection of artists (on the day that I attended, Sir John Holt was the headline act) but also a real atmosphere to celebrate peace and love with like-minded people.
Caterers at the festival offered good food at great prices (average meal £5), and there’s a host of smaller stages and tents where visitors literally danced their hearts out throughout the day.
Despite attending for just one day, the festival gave me a great feeling of an intimate, fun and friendly event. I’m already planning a return next year, hopefully for the full weekend in true festival camping style!