California Roots Music and Arts Festival

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California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Rebelution Reggae Band.jpg
Rebelution performing at Cali Roots
GenreReggae, Roots Reggae, Reggae rock, Folk, Hip-hop
DatesMay (last weekend)
Location(s)Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey, California
Years active2010–Present
Founded byJeff Monser
Attendance13,000 (per day)
WebsiteOfficial website

The California Roots Music and Art Festival (Cali Roots) is an American annual music and art festival, featuring reggae, reggae rock, folk, hip hop acts and live painting on-stage. The festival was founded in 2010 and is held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California which was previously home of the Monterey Pop Festival where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire in 1967. In its first year, the festival began as a one-day event headlining the Dirty Heads and Tribal Seeds. Today, The California Roots Festival has grown enormously in both size and attendance. It is organized over three full days with more than 11,000 attendees each day.[1] It is described as the largest reggae-rock festival in the world and claims to one of the largest reggae festivals in the United States.[2][3]


The first versions of Cali Roots were small one-day live music events with local attendance and mostly limited to bands drawn from a limited geographic area. Dan Sheehan joined as a co-founder of the festival and was able to lay the groundwork for exponential growth - managing logistics and securing major reggae acts in order to play at the festival.[4] These changes enabled this one-day music event to evolve into its current four-day format. Sheehan was able to construct one of the largest reggae and reggae-rock music festival in the world.[3]

Festival Organization[edit]

The current festival involves curated lineups of live music, interactive art on stage, and engagement of a variety of events related to the practice and celebration of reggae culture over three days. The festival also works closely with pairs with non-profit organizations to raise funds for causes that align with the brand of Cali Roots. In recent years, the event has attracted more than 13,000 people each day. The California Roots Music and Arts Festival continues to grow rapidly. The festival takes steps to allows for freedom of expression and for fans to engage politically through music.[5] Cali Roots Festival has headlined many notable reggae-like bands and artists over the years, including Atmosphere, Rebelution, Nas, Dirty Heads, and Slightly Stoopid.


Date Year Headliners Openers
May 29 2010 Dirty Heads
Tribal Seeds
Thrive, Top Shelf, Seedless, One Drop, Pyrx, The Holdup, 880 South, Pacific Dub, Meet Me @ The Pub, Through The Roots, Hallway Ballers, The Alliez, The Release, Matt Masih & The Messengers, Ease Up, Sinizen, Dubious, Kapakahi, My Peoples
May 28–29 2011 Rebelution
Tribal Seeds
The Holdup, Thrive, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, Ooklah The Moc, Mystic Roots, Through The Roots, Wooster, Matt Masih, Stranger, Seedless, Clear Conscience, Top Self, Fortunate Youth, Conscious Souls, E.N. Young, HaleAmanO, True Press, High Tide, Jet West, Wasted Noise, Ease Up, Sinizen
May 26 2012 Pepper (26th)
J Boog, Anuhea, Mishka, Passafire, Micah Brown, Haleamano, True Press, Hi Roots, E.N. Young, Matt Masih, The Simpkin Project, HB Surround Sound, Clear Conscience, One A Chord, Beyond I Sight, Seedless
May 27 The Expendables, Iration, The Green, Thrive, Fortunate Youth, Seedless, Katastro, Whiskey Avengers, Just Chill, Sono Vero, Wasted Noise, Fiction 20 Down, Zen Robbi, Jam Kwest, Bare Feet, The Closeouts
May 24–26 2013 Slightly Stoopid
The Expendables, Dirty Heads, Collie Buddz w/ New Kingston, Tribal Seeds, The Green, Katchafire, Don Carlos, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, Rootz Underground, Ballyhoo!, Natural Vibrations, Pacific Dub, Stick Figure, Seedless, Fortunate Youth, Through The Roots, Thrive, Mystic Roots, Josh Heinrichs w/ 77 Jefferson & Skillinjah, Mike Pinto, Stranger, Indubious, Naia Kete, Whiskey Avengers, Fear Nuttin Band, Inna Vision, Three Legged Fox, The VeraGroove, Wait For Green, Arden Park Roots, Matt Masih & The Messengers, High Tide, Just Chill, One A Chord, Wheeland Brothers, Wasted Noise, Dub Seeds, The Closeouts, Kings & Comrades, Codi Jordan, Simple Creation, Black Salt Tone
May 23 2014 SOJA, Steel Pulse
Rebelution, Ziggy Marley (24th)
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, 311
J Boog, Katchafire, Stick Figure, Passafire, B Side Players, Cisco Adler, Kimie, Maoli, The Expanders, Simpkin Project, Bumpin Uglies, The Steppas, The Stircrazies, Reeform
May 24 Iration, Zion I, Alborosie, Nahko and Medicine for the People, AER, Los Rakas, Cas Haley, Katastro, Saraitah, True Press, Ojo De Buey, Tatanaka, Parafish, Dewey & The Peoples
May 25 Pepper, The Green, Skunk Records (25th anniversary live on stage), Groundation, The Movement, New Kingston, HIRIE, Micah Brown, Beyond I Sight feat. Gonzo, Krooked Treez, Clear Conscience, Black Salt Tone, Iriefuse, White Glove Service
May 22 2015 SOJA
The Roots, Michael Franti and Spearhead (23rd)
Slightly Stoopid (24th)
John Butler Trio, Steel Pulse, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Trevor Hall, Dilated Peoples, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Blue King Brown, The Supervillains, Dustin Thomas, John Wayne and The Pain, Leilani Wolfgramm, Sun-Dried Vibes
May 23 Dirty Heads, Collie Buddz, Chronixx, John Brown's Body, The Skints, Mike Love, The Ethan Tucker Band, Beebs and Her Honey Makers, Soul Majestic, Arise Roots, KBong
May 24 Iration, Cypress Hill, Tribal Seeds, G. Love & Special Sauce, Common Kings, Fishbone, Fortunate Youth, Cas Haley, Pacific Dub, Fear Nuttin Band, E.N. Young, Animo
May 27 2016 Slightly Stoopid

Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Stephen "Ragga" Marley
Rebelution, Michael Franti and Spearhead
The Expendables, J Boog, Barrington Levy, Katchafire, Fortunate Youth, Ooklah The Moc, Sticky Fingers, Thrive, Seedless, Peni Dean, Eli Mac, AMP Live, Adam Twelve, Westafa
May 28 Pepper, The Green, Tarrus Riley, Mike Love, The Skints, The Expanders, Nattali Rize, Katastro, Jordan T, The Oles, Expanders Sound System, Dub Architect
May 29 Tribal Seeds, Stick Figure, Protoje, HIRIE, Raging Fyah, Gondwana, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, Josh Heinrichs, Wheeland Brothers, South Bay Dub All Stars, Tunnel Vision, AMP Live, Bulby York, J. Bowman
May 26–28 2017 Rebelution
Dirty Heads
SOJA, Iration, Thievery Corporation, Jurassic 5, Stick Figure, Nahko and The Machine For The People, Matisyahu, Collie Buddz, Alborosie, Common Kings, Anthony B, Protoje, Easy Star All Stars, Rising Appalachia, John Brown's Body, Yellowman, Unified Highway, Jah9, Jesse Royal, Mellow Mood, Passafire, RDGLDGRN, Ballyhoo!, Six60, Through The Roots, Zach Deputy, Tribal Theory, Humble Soul, Roots of Creation, Iya Terra, Beebs, Synrgy, The Late Ones, Tyrone's Jacket, Darenots, Skanks Roots Project
May 25 2018 Iration
Atmosphere (25th)
Rebelution, Dispatch (26th)
Slightly Stoopid
Steel Pulse, Chronixx, E-40, Alpha Blondy, HIRIE, Brother Ali, Sammy J, The Movement, Ocean Alley, Tropidelic
May 26 Stephen Marley, J Boog, Fortunate Youth, Ozomatli, Trevor Hall, The Holdup, The Hip Abduction, Anuhea, Xiuhtezcatl, The Ries Brothers
May 27 Tribal Seeds, The Green, Tash Sultana, Xavier Rudd, The Original Wailers, Mike Love, Raging Fyah, New Kingston, Darenots
May 24 2019 Stick Figure
Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals
Atmosphere (24th)
Slightly Stoopid
Dirty Heads (25th)
Citizen Cope, Steel Pulse, The Green, Common Kings, Fiji, The Skints, Don Carlos, Ballyhoo!, For Peace Band
May 25 Tash Sultana, Pepper, Protoje, The Expendables, G. Love and Special Sauce, The Movement, Iya Terra, Jo Mersa Marley, Ocean Alley, Roots of a Rebellion
May 26 UB40 feat. Ali & Astro, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Cypress Hill (performing Black Sunday), Collie Buddz, Matisyahu, Alborosie, Dread Mar I, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Xiuhtezcatl, The Elovaters
May 22–24* 2020 CANCELED *Original dates were postponed to October 9–11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but eventually festival was canceled.[6]

Scheduled performers: Oct. 9: Rebelution, Atmosphere,
Chronixx, Pepper, Trevor Hall, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Tarrus Riley, The Movement, Satsang, Nattali Rize, Earthkry, Natural Vibrations, Arise Roots, Kash'd Out
Oct. 10: Stick Figure, Sean Paul
Tribal Seeds, J Boog, The Green, Collie Buddz, The Expendables, HIRIE, Dub Inc, Bumpin Uglies, The Elovaters, Sensi Trails
Oct. 11: Damian Marley, Ice Cube
Jimmy Cliff, Common Kings, Durand Jones, Iya Terra, Natiruts, Mike Love, Keznamdi, Through The Roots, Artikal Sound System, Vana Liya, Sublime with Rome

May 26–29* 2021 CANCELED *Twice delayed 11th annual festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]
May 26 2022 Dirty Heads
Stephen Marley
Atmosphere (27th)
Slightly Stoopid
Stick Figure
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
Ice Cube
Sean Paul
Protoje feat. Lila Ike & Sevana, Fortunate Youth, Alborosie, Demarco, DENM, Turbulence, Tropidelic, Eli Mac, Tunnel Vision
May 27 Chronixx, Pepper, J Boog, The Movement Brother Ali, Tarrus Riley, Satsang, Nattali Rize, Sa-Roc, Earthkry, Arise Roots, Natural Vibrations, Kash'd Out
May 28 Beenie Man, Tribal Seeds, Trevor Hall, The Green, Collie Buddz, The Expendables, Dub Inc, Bumpin Uglies, The Elovaters, FIA, Sensi Trails
May 29 Common Kings, Durand Jones & The Indications, Anthony B, HIRIE, Iya Terra, Mike Love, Keznamdi, Through The Roots, Artikal Sound System, Vana Liya, Sublime with Rome (debut performance)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Past Line-Ups – California Roots Music & Art Festival 2016". Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  2. ^ "Cali Roots hits the right chord". Monterey Herald. 2018-05-27. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  3. ^ a b Joseph, Adam. "How Cali Roots has grown into the world's largest reggae-rock festival in just five years". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  4. ^ "Dan Sheehan". Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  5. ^ Cooper, Stephen (25 April 2018). "Reggae is the heartbeat of the festival". Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  6. ^ "California Roots Music and Arts Festival Announce New Dates October 9–11, 2020".
  7. ^ "Cali Roots canceled for this year, rescheduled for 2022". 23 January 2021.

External links[edit]