Reggae Fest

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The ‘Reggae Fest’ weekend has created plenty of interest within the Manning Valley and Great Lakes regions, particularly with Afro Moses performing.

The well known and popular reggae entertainer and his band will headline the weekend, bringing a cultural and musical journey of some of the most popular music in the world.

The hundred-year-old Harrington Hotel has proven to be a popular venue with the Manning Valley community with its innovative approach to bring the best in entertainment.

Harrington hotel owner Adam Nixon will transform his hotel so it has a Caribbean look and theme, adding a Jamaican/Caribbean/ Reggae orientated food and beverages to the hotel’s popular menu.

Booking Afro Moses, one of the country’s leading Reggae entertainers has been a coup for organisers, as he has proved very popular on his prior visits to our region. Organised by the Harrington SES as their major fundraiser, the community-based organisation is keen to establish the festival as a permanent fixture on the entertainment calender in the Manning Valley.

The local Harrington SES unit is part of the State’s SES, having more than 10,000 volunteers statewide. They are a community’s first port of call during floods, storms and other emergencies. The New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) is an emergency and rescue service with 226 units located throughout the state and is easily identified by their distinctive orange uniform.

Apart from their responsibilities to assist and control flood and storm operations, the SES also provides the majority of general rescue effort in the rural parts of the state. These include road accident rescue, vertical rescue, bush search and rescue, searches and other forms of specialist rescues that may be required due to local threats.

Karen Ralley, controller of the Harrington SES unit, says support has been fantastic to the Festival across the Manning and Great Lakes.

“We were looking for something different to bring to the Manning Valley. Adam was keen to pursue another music style, that had wide appeal to everyone. Our research is paying off, with the Reggae Festival looking to be a winner.

“The Festival will appeal to all ages, and we expect an audience that will be wide and diverse. It is not a criteria for entry, but we are expecting Bob Marley look-a-likes, dreadlocks, wigs and clothing which will add to the two days of fun.”

Acknowledged as one of the leaders in this popular music field, Afro Moses is renowned for his passion, colour, energy and dancing, which attracts large audiences to his gigs. The singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and performer has been enthralling audiences in his native Ghana and Denmark for more than 15 years and is recognised as changing the face of African music in Australia.

Afro was the fourth child to be delivered by his mother, and the first to survive. He grew up in the village of Ateiku in Ghana’s west and began rounding up local children to craft their own instruments and perform at an early age. By his teens he was known in his village as the ‘African James Brown’.

His training on traditional instruments and his later adaptation of western instruments sees him acknowledged as a master musician.

As a composer and band leader, Afro has won many awards and topped world music charts in Scandinavia. His song ‘Afrika Market’, from his second album ‘Makola’ won Best Song and won the Best World Music Group at The Danish Music Awards in 1998.

He has shared the stage with some incredible artists, such as Ziggy Marley, Youssou N Dour and many more. A multi-award winner, Afro Moses has won awards such as best song, best album, best live act, and has been twice voted as Ghana’s best international music ambassador in 2000 and 2002. He was also involved in the performance and composition of music that featured on the short film ‘Inja’, that was a nominee in the 2003 Oscar Awards.

Afro Moses is a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher of music. A natural performer, whose star quality shines, he is joined on stage by his dynamic group, Moses Ojah.

Reggae music has a Jamaican and African influence, and many current popular music top hits contain these components.

This influence was also highlighted in the 1960s, with American Rhythm and Blues music adding this style to their wide variety of options.

Elements of this music genre were called ‘Ska’, a combination of elements of Caribbean, Calypso with American jazz and Rhythm and Blues being characterised by a walking bass line with upbeat rhythms.

In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and it was popular with British music fans, who embraced this style of music.

The Wailers, a band started by the legendary Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer in 1963 became the most recognised group; they catapulted Reggae music worldwide.

Afro Moses always gives a high energy show that will leave you wanting more, as every musician on stage is unique and comes from a different background.

The inaugural Reggae Festival is a live stage show you have never seen before, with a tasty mix of hot rhythms from across the globe resulting in a fusion of modern beats that will get you jumping.

The Harrington Hotel is an ideal venue to enjoy a music festival, with its great atmosphere and auditorium located on the Manning River. Patrons can sit in the auditorium or on the lawn area adjacent to the river to enjoy the entertainment.

The first weekend in September will be two days providing an alternative variety of entertainment to the region.

Net proceeds from the Reggae Festival will support the local Harrington SES for much needed equipment.

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