07/01 - 07/03 2022
Festival Report… SummerJam 2022 - Opening Party
06/30/2022 by Gardy Stein
Feel The Beat! The motto of this year's Summerjam couldn't be more fitting after all this time of lockdown and isolation. Finally, we are outside again, gathering, celebrating and feeling the music we love! Our Reggaeville Festival Report will take you all across this weekend's highlights, sharing photos, videos and stories with you so you can join in, remember or re-live the experience.
FESTIVAL REPORT: OPENING PARTY | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3
CHECK PHOTOS HERE | VIDEOS HERE | INTERVIEWS HERE
Thursday, June 30th – Let It Rain
Arriving in Cologne for Summerjam is like a homecoming, all the more because it's the first time since 2019 that friends and family gather for such a huge festival. The occasion is made special by a double jubilee: not only is this the 35th edition of the Summerjam, it is also the 25th anniversary of celebrating at the beautiful Fühlinger See! No wonder, then, that tent sites are already packed and people keep arriving, swelling the crowd that will spend this weekend together. A great innovation are the Rikolonia cycle rickshaws that pick visitors and their luggage up from parking spaces and bring them to their camp.
As the island itself (including the two main stages) is still closed for the public, Vibez Vilage is the place to be today. Toké has just finished his set, with people almost melting in the heavy, sultry heat, and Martin Jondo, all in red, took over. Not for long, though, as a sudden temperature drop (from 32° to 18° celsius!), rushing winds and dark clouds herald the thunderstorm that was announced all day. The performance has to be interrupted mid-song while everyone runs for shelter.
"Come a little closer, darling!" Martin Jondo starts again after the heavy rains subsided a bit, finishing his set with songs about sky rider, sunshine and cherries. Toké joins him for another song, as the audience is now much more active than before. Shouts of "Summerjam, Summerjam!" ring from all corners, and smiling people are hugging friends they haven't seen in ages – the vibes are high indeed! In the middle of it all, Mike Love arrives and carries some bulky equipment backstage. Anticipation rises! La grande finale of Jondo's set is, of course, Rainbow Warrior, and the crowd keeps chanting the chorus long after the artist left stage to mingle with his fans.
Loud whooping greets the guest from Hawaii when he starts his set with vocal bass, beatboxing and a loop machine. Mike Love is an impressive figure both literally and metaphorically, and he describes his works as "revolutionary consciousness music". His first track, Let It Rain, is duly obeyed by the universe, but despite the repeated rainfall, the audience stays put and succumbs to the spell the artist casts over us. More than the masterfully played guitar, loop and melodica, it is his incredible voice that captivates the listeners, his vibrant gestures and his oh so important lyrics. He's calling on the world's leaders to find solutions, calling on us to share the light and bring togetherness, and assures us: I Love You. His closing words after an hour of stage show are, "Take back the knowledge, take back the power!"
The evening is closed by the Riddim Magazine All Stars, and people rock and swing happily in the knowledge that, after this initial baptism of wind and rain, the rest of the weekend will be sun and beat only. Feel it!