Sunday, February 12, 2012

London Is The Place For Me!: City To Host Two Ska Festivals In 2012

As Lord Kitchener sings in his beautiful calypso tribute to the Big Smoke, "London is the place for me." And so it will be for fans of ska and early reggae, as the city prepares to host not one, but two ska themed music festivals -- The London International Ska Festival which runs from May 3-6th, 2012 and The Heritage of Ska Festival on July 7-8th, 2012.

The 2012 four-day edition of the London International Ska Festival has been finalized and the line-up, features an eclectic mix of early ska and rocksteady icons like The Pioneers, Dandy Livingstone and Dawn Penn, 70's and 80's ska heroes like Rico Rodriguez, Neol Davies of The Selecter and Fishbone and contemporary ska bands like The Dualers and Ska Cubano.  Now in its 3rd year, the shows will feature in two, high end London concert venues  --  the O2 Academy in Islington and the O2 Academy in Shepherd's Bush Empire.  It is a must attend for any ska fanatics who can make their way to the U.K.  Read a great detailed overview of the 4-day festival posted on Alt Sounds.

The Heritage of Ska Festival is a newcomer and a nice complement and counterpoint to the London International Ska Festival. The promoters behind it have smartly timed it just ahead of the London Olympic Games when the city will be packed to the gills. While no bands have been announced yet for the open air concerts that will be staged in Brockwell Park, promotional materials for the festival state it will celebrate the multiculturalism of the U.K. that showcases music that has been inspired and motivated by ska including artists from dub, electronica, hip hop, reggae, ska, dubstep and soul.  I'm intrigued by the concept, but until acts for the festival have been announced, I'll reserve judgment. A launch party for the festival is scheduled for Friday March 9th at the Ritzy in Brixton featuring The Estimators and a variety of support acts and DJs.

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