Reggae on the River

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Reggae on the River
Pablo Moses 2010
Genre Reggae
Location(s) Humboldt County, California
Years active 1983-present
Official site

Reggae on the River (locally known as simply Reggae) is a reggae festival that is held annually on the first weekend in August in Humboldt County, California. It began in 1983 as a benefit for the Mateel Community Center, a nonprofit for southern Humboldt County.[1] In that year the center's community hall in Garberville was burned down by an arsonist,[2] and the center charged then-board member Carol Bruno to work with Jack Arthur organizing the festival to raise money for a new hall. It was held at French's Camp (a property located on a bend in the Eel River owned by the Arthur family near Piercy, California) every year until 2006 when financial issues forced the festival to be relocated in subsequent years.[3] In 2003 the annual festival celebrated its 20th year. A DVD featuring performances from the anniversary was released. It includes performances by Culture, Toots & the Maytals, Third World, Beres Hammond, Israel Vibration, Anthony B., and the Marley brothers.

2006 Conflict[edit]

The 2006 concert brought in far less money than previous shows had, or that was estimated. Due to the move to a new site and the expenses incurred in removing equipment from the old location, the Mateel center saw no revenue from the 2006 event.[4] In 2007, the festival was canceled in the wake of a legal battle between the Mateel Community Center, People Productions (the company started by Carol Bruno after leaving her position at the Mateel), and Tom Dimmick, the owner of the property which hosted the festival in 2006. The dispute centered on revenues, with the Mateel questioning why profits estimated by People Productions did not materialize, why there was a discrepancy between the number of tickets approved and reported attendance and $300,000 in cash expenditures with no receipts.[5] In the wake of the cancellation of Reggae on the River, People Productions in conjunction with Tom Dimmick produced their own reggae concert at Dimmick Ranch, which was called "Reggae Rising" and took place at Dimmick Ranch on the usual first weekend in August.

New site: Benbow Lake State Recreation Area[edit]

From 2008 the festival had occurred at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, in Benbow, Calif., north of the event's original location on the Eel River. In 2013, Reggae on the River returned to its original location at French's Camp(just north of Piercy,CA.) and its original time, the first weekend of August(sometimes the event falls on the last weekend of July, or on the transition from the end of July to the beginning of August, depending on how weekends fall on the calendar year).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reggae on the River archive
  2. ^ "It’s just Reggae". North Coast Journal. August 2, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  3. ^ "West Side Posse: Unofficial RoR History". Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Reggae River Rising". North Coast Journal. February 22, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  5. ^ "Clash over Reggae". North Coast Journal. November 16, 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°59′50.55″N 123°47′27.08″W / 39.9973750°N 123.7908556°W / 39.9973750; -123.7908556