Cali Roots 2024

text by digital-media

19 June, 2024

KCSB programmer Marley Jay takes to Monterey to give you an inside look into the 2024 Cali Roots Festival. Read on for the inside scoop into a weekend of love, reggae, and community. 

Words and Photos by Marley Jay

I sat amongst like-minded individuals of the California Roots Sol Tribe, congregating, speaking, dancing, and creating to the fluid music encompassing the space. Artists planting seeds of inspiration along their way, I passed through Cali Roots Festival, Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26 2024, at the Monterey Fairgrounds.

Kicking off Cali Roots stage, Day 1, Grammy award winner Kabaka Pyramid, taking full innergy upon performance. With passion forward, the roots from Jamaica were felt deep. Kabaka brought forth a powerful tone to set the pace at Cali Roots for the next three days. Later that day, Xavier Rudd, hailing from Australia, channeled the elements directly with his performance on the didgeridoo. The vibrations resonated with the audience, awestruck by his elegant orchestration.



Day two had quite a few big names taking to Cali Roots and The Bowl. First, closing out the CaliRoots Stage, were legends of Burning Spear, fresh back and touring. A sacred mysticism was felt through the crowd. And we can all agree, yes, we waan some more, in reply to the Kingman himself. This, by far, was one of the most anticipated artists of the weekend. A true highlight most certainly over the three day weekend.


A bit later, the Bowl stage, ready for the collective energy built up by Burning Spear, was closed out by Stephen and Damian Marley. The strength and full production of these brothers’ performances were on another level. These poets of reggae royalty made their impressions, and were pure fire, closing out day two.



Day three saw Cali Roots Festival creator and owner, Dan Sheehan, introducing local Hawaiian band The Green. The rhythms and island stylings of The Green was welcomed by the audience as many fans came to show support, having a strong base here in California, as well as in Hawaii. The festival has a sense of community both internationally, but also locally, from Monterey to Santa Barbara. Rebelution closed out both the Bowl and day three of Cali Roots. Always a favorite on the lineup, these festival veterans finished the night and weekend with an outstanding ovation and an encore.



Expressing unity, coming to share, exchange, and love – that is the essence of Cali Roots and the link between all us collectively. Give thanks. See ya in 2025.


Posted in Blog, Show reviews, Music