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Reggae Fest: South Cape to host 12-hour music jam

By Staff | Mar 11, 2016

Locals and visitors have a chance to sway to the island beats this weekend in Cape Coral.

The second annual South Cape Spring Break Reggae Festival will kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday on four outdoor stages located at the Dixie Roadhouse, Rockade and Rack’em Billiards. More than 20 reggae and ska bands are set to perform, with artist Ky-Enie King opening for headliner Ky-Mani Marley.

“I thought it was a really good fit for Southwest Florida,” David Townsend, co-owner of the Dixie Roadhouse and Rockade, said. “There’s a need for this around here, so that’s why we started it.”

An estimated 1,000 people attended the first year of the music festival.

“We’re expecting between 3,000 and 3,500 this year,” he said.

One of legendary Bob Marley’s sons, Ky-Mani Marley, will be the highlighting act.

“We didn’t have a headline band last year,” Townsend said. “This year, we have a headliner from Jamaica – we’re trying to build this over the years and make it bigger and bigger.”

Ky-Enie King will take the stage at about 8 p.m., followed by Ky-Mani Marley at around 9:30 p.m. Both artists will perform on one of the two stages set up on Southeast 11th Place, alongside Dixie.

Advance tickets are $10 per person or $15 at the door. The ticket enables the holder to gain access to the two stages at Dixie; no ticket is required for access to the stages at Rockade and at Rack’em.

“It’s all ages,” Townsend said. “We’re trying to encourage families to come.”

Ages 18 and under are free, but they must be accompanied by a parent with a paid ticket.

Between the four stages, about half of the bands took part in last year’s event.

“There’s several from Fort Myers and Cape Coral,” he said.

There are bands from across the state, hailing from cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Naples, as well as out-of-state groups from Dallas, Texas, and New York City.

“It’s a lot of bands and a lot of music,” Townsend said.

Some of the known bands include Spred the Dub, Mixed Culture, Jah Movement, Root’s Almighty, Bum Lucky and No Need, along with Simple Jack, The Freecoasters and Bargain Bin Heroes.

“There’s nonstop music,” he said.

At 11 p.m., the Dixie stages will shut down. The Rockade stage will move inside for a “freestyle jam” from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday, while the Rack’em stage will continue jamming until 2 a.m. Sunday.

In addition to the musical acts, there will be nearly two dozen vendors on site.

“We have all different types of lifestyle vendors,” Townsend said.

There will be reggae-related items, such as clothing, accessories and shoes. Attendees can also enjoy food from two Jamaican vendors, as well as typical festival fare like barbecue, pizza and more.

“We’re going to have snow cones, frozen drinks,” he said. “They can add alcohol to them at the bar.”

Chairs, blankets, backpacks, coolers and outside food and drinks are not permitted.

To purchase tickets in advance, visit online at: capecoralreggaefest.eventbrite.com.

For more information, visit online: www.facebook.com/dixieroadhouse.

The Dixie Roadhouse is at 1023 S.E. 47th Terrace.

Rockade is at 1023 S.E. 47th Terrace.

Rack’em Billiards is at 1011 S.E. 47th Terrace.