RECAP AND REVIEW: Rototom Sunsplash 2019 – Benicassim, Spain

Written by Red Carpet Shelley. Posted in Caribbean Entertainment News, Entertainment News, Events, Music News, Red Carpet Shelley Home, Reggae-Dancehall

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Published on August 30, 2019 with No Comments

the Abyssinians

the Abyssinians


RCS was in the house at the 26th Rototom Sunsplash in Benicassim, Spain. Rototom is a weeklong experience encompassing reggae music, food,  arts and crafts, yoga, a teen yard and family friendly activities. 

Day 1 (Aug 16) 

I flew from New York on August 14 and arrived in Barcelona August 15 a day before the festival began.  Rototom is very easy to get to.  I found an airfare for $400 round trip on British Airways.  The festival provides a bus from the airport straight to the camp and festival grounds.  You can book a hotel nearby.  My colleagues always marvel that I, a woman of a certain age  will camp and have short stays at Youth histels.  At Rototom I decided to forego a hotel and have a glamping experience. The Glamping company    provides and sets up the tent, they provide the mattress, flashlights, bedding and padlock to secure your tent.  The tents are big and roomy enough to stand upright in.  On the eve of the start of Rototom, a welcome party was held.  I stayed until closing time.  One of the things I most like about Rototom, apart from the live music, is the different genre , they play, ska, dub, dancehall and toots reggae.

After a restful nights sleep, I awoke to the beautiful heart on the coast of Spain.  Rototom always has a theme, this year the theme is Stand up for Earth.  The theme reinforces “the macro-reggae event’s commitment to the defense of human rights, peace and care for the environment.  This year the event is plastic bottles free.  They have reusable plastic cups.  They refuse shower water to follow toilet cisterns.  The huge festival grounds has a family area, teen yard, African village, Pachamama, which is a space dedicated to personal growth and mother Earth.  There’s a social art gallery, there’s a Rototom circus, There is the main stage, where artists like Chronixx, Busy Signal, Queen Ifrica and Morgan Heritage perform throughout the week.  There’s the Lion stage. There are various clubs, Dub Academy. Tent clubs, Jumping/Social Forum,  Caribbean Uptempo and the Reggae University/Press area. 
Chronixx performs at Rototom Sunsplash 2019

Chronixx performs at Rototom Sunsplash 2019

The first official night of Rototom was packed with thousands in attendance to see Chronixx on the Main stage.  He gave a fantastic performance lasting over an hour.  Chronixx sang crowd favorites Here Comes Trouble, Who Knows, Skankin’ Sweet. He also performed Big Bad Sound a song featuring his father Chronicle.  The audience, consisting mainly of Europeans, loves reggae music and really showed their appreciation for Chronixx.


Day 3 (Aug 18) 

At 4pm in the space called Reggae University, there was a showing of Babylon, a British movie that was first released in 1980 and recently released in the United States.  After the viewing, there was Q&A with the writer Martin Skelton and Brindsley

Forde the star and former lead singer with the British band, Aswad.  Later that evening Brindsley Forde performed on the main stage with Dennis Bovell who wrote the music for Babylon.  They sang songs from the movie. The crowd including my sisters and I waited patiently for our favorite song Warrior Charge (so many memories). When they played that song we jumped from our seats and jumped up and down to the rhythms. 

Sevana, a 23 year old dynamic singer from Savanna la Mar in Jamaica absolutely wowed the crowd from the Main stage at Rototom.  She is managed by the same person that manages Lila Ike.  It was an awesome performance.  We interviewed her and asked how she felt about women in reggae. 
Lila Ike

Lila Ike


Day 4 (Aug 19) 

Reggae University once again provided fans as well as media have the opportunity to have a Q&A with the performers.  A day after his performance at Rototom Busy Signal had a Q&A and answered many questions from fans and media from the UK,  France,  Russia Spain and, of course, the United States by Dubmaster from Iriejam and the Dutchess (see below)


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Monday’s Main stage lineup included Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill. L’Entourloop from France and two Queens from Jamaica Marcia Griffiths and Queen Ifrica.  Marcia sang songs from her newly released album Timeless and of course songs by Bob including Iron, Lion, Zion.  Marcia is celebrating over 50 years in the business.

Queen Ifrica walked on stage and the first words she uttered were ” I am a revolutionary”.



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