Tickets for the 34th annual Reggae on the River Festival Now On Sale

This old site has languished for a long time. Seemed like as good a time to bring it back as ever…

Reggae on the River 2018
Strategic Partnership between High Times and the Mateel Community
Center Grows Iconic Music and Culture Celebration to New Heights
REDWAY, CALIF. — High Times Productions, the event-management
team for High Times Media, today announced the release of tickets for this year’s iconic Reggae on the River festival. General Admission, VIP, and camping passes are now on sale via the Reggae on the River website.
Through a strategic partnership announced earlier this year, High Times has joined forces with the Mateel Community Center to elevate this cultural landmark to new heights. Providing both resources and direction, the cannabis icon will implement the best practices it has amassed through it’s years of successful event production to create a world-class experience for Reggae fans and the surrounding community.
“We’re pleased to announce that tickets for the 34th annual Reggae on the River are now on sale,” said Adam Levin, CEO of High Times Media. “This event is a cornerstone of the Northern California community, and High Times could not be more excited to help present this year’s festivities. This year’s show will be bigger and better than ever!”
The festival was birthed in 1984 as a fundraiser for the Mateel Community Center in Redway, and held on land owned by the Arthur family. Originally, it was a one-day musical event to raise money to replace Mateel’s hall, which had been destroyed in a fire. This developing partnership with High Times has provided the center with
resources to continue growing and expanding the festivals reach.
“We are beyond pleased that this special alliance will allow our beloved annual gathering to continue unchecked. We look forward to modernizing and expanding the event’s reach, all while staying at its spiritual home and birthplace – this memorable bend in the river known to the reggae massive as ‘French’s Camp.’” said Mateel board treasurer Eryn Snodgrass
High Times has assumed all responsibility for the upcoming festival’s talent lineup, marketing, and monetization efforts. The brand is also providing the Mateel Community Center the expertise it’s grown through its long and successful production history in an effort to ensure the experience is on par with what the industry has come to expect from it’s premiere brand. High Times produces a series of Cannabis Cup events annually as well as several other lifestyle and music events tied to High Times magazine, the oldest and best-known brand in the business of legalized marijuana. Given their production chops, knowledge of the landscape, and successful history in both events and media, High Times was the perfect partner for the Mateel Community Center. Reggae on the River marks an important step for High Times Production to manage a broader music event not explicitly tied to the legal cannabis industry, Levin said.
About Reggae on the River:
Reggae on the River is an annual music festival in Northern California, nestled along the south fork of the Eel river amongst the redwood trees. 34 years running, this cultural gathering has long been North America’s premier live-reggae concert destination.
Originally conceived as a fundraiser for the Mateel Community Center, the event has become known from Jamaica to Humboldt as the place to be on the first weekend in August. Visit us on the web here.
About Mateel Community Center:
The Mateel Community Center has fostered the arts in rural Northern California for approximately forty years. Serving as the cultural hub of the Southern Humboldt community, we provide arts, educational, and social service programs, and present a myriad of multicultural musical, theatrical, dance, comedy, film, craft, and rental events earning our non-profit organization international acclaim.
Located in the town of Redway, CA, the Mateel Community Center hall is a showcase of fine woodworking, craftsmanship, and solar design that first opened in 1988. Owned and operated by the MCC, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Center is well utilized by the entire community and serves as a venue for both commercial and non-profit rentals, as well as in-house Mateel productions.
About High Times:
For more than 40 years, High Times has been the authoritative voice of authentic cannabis culture, leading the fight for legalization and empowering the burgeoning industry’s legal entrepreneurs. High Times content spans digital, social, video and print platforms as well as location-based events highlighted by the Cannabis Cup global franchise and the High Times Business Summit conference series. Visit us at, and follow @HIGH_TIMES_Mag on Twitter, @hightimesmagazine on
Instagram or like us on Facebook…


Press Release from the Ranch

The Dimmick Ranch announces 2nd payment to the Mateel Community Center

[Humboldt County, CA January 29] The Dimmick Ranch is pleased to announce that Tom Dimmick will be making the third scheduled payment of $200,000 on or before February 1st to the Mateel Community Center. “We are happy to make this payment to the MCC and know that it will help them carry on their valuable services to our community through their varied and unique programs.” The final payment of $50,000 to the MCC is due in September and will be made on or before its scheduled due date.

The Dimmick Ranch is looking forward to Reggae Rising ’09 to be held July 31st – August 2nd at the historic Dimmick Ranch and French’s Camp on the banks of the picturesque Eel River.

Flash from the Past

Someone sent me this clip – mainly because I’m it it. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I only vaguely recall the interview, and don’t really remember the people who did it or exactly when.

I’m told that this is an excerpt from a longer documentary that got lost in the Reggae War shufle. Can anyone fill me on on the details?

Reggae on the River deemed success, will continue in ’09

by Cristina Bauss

by Cristina Bauss

By all accounts I’ve heard, Reggae on the River at Benbow was a great party. The Journal sent a correspondent who said as much in a review that will run in our next edition. Cristana said she had a great time too and wrote about it in her Nocturnal Nomad blog.  (I borrowed the photo from her without asking- thanks Cristina!)

Apparently the Mateel made some money, and as a result, they’re already announcing the return:

From: Mateel Community Center

Reggae On The River Is Back For 2009 & Beyond

In the wake of a very successful revival of Reggae on the River, held July 19 as a single day rising from the ashes event at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area in Southern Humboldt, the Mateel Community Center is happy to announce that this beloved local tradition is back and will continue to be synonymous with the center’s offerings for years to come.  Although the date and venue for 2009 are still undetermined, plans are already in the works to continue rebuilding this community fundraiser and this year’s event was a beautiful start.

Blessed with perfect weather and a back to the roots vibe, Reggae on the River 2008 was a very special celebration that brought together local families and longtime fans for some great reggae music and a whole lot of healing energy.  Both a financial and spiritual success, the festival will play an important role in stabilizing the community center’s finances, enabling the next 6 months of operations and setting the stage for the continuation of the great Reggae On The River tradition.

Stay posted to for 2009 festival updates, which will be coming soon.  For more information, call (707) 923-3368 and make plans now to join the Mateel Community Center and continue your Reggae On The River experience for 2009 and beyond.

The Peace Accord

This won’t be news to most of you. The press release from Mateel V.P. Garth Epling came while I was out of town. It gives some details on the deal made between the Mateel, People Productions and Tom Dimmick to end the Reggae War.

Mateel Signs Peace Accord with Dimmick, People Productions

July 17, 2008

The Mateel Community Center Board of Directors has agreed to drop its claims against Tom Dimmick and Carol Bruno’s People Productions rather than to continue to battle in the courtroom. In return, Dimmick and Bruno will pay Mateel a half million dollars. They will also dismiss all of their lawsuits against the Mateel, its staff and Board of Directors. The Mateel will retain ownership of its trademark, Reggae on the River, kicking off a new era of Reggae this coming Saturday at Benbow Lake State Park.

We feel the need to get on with our lives is important to many people in the community, and that the courtroom drama only continued to hold us all hostage to a future of fighting over a very uncertain outcome. The months of legal battling, the cost of the lawsuit to Mateel donors, and a desire to get on with our real job-running the Community Center, has led us to this difficult decision. Both sides were also motivated strongly by Judge Warren, who twisted everyone’s arms to get us to settle the case. At this point, we feel the settlement path best fulfills our fiduciary duty as the Board of Directors of the Mateel.

We are ever so grateful to the hundreds of community members who’ve supported us through this difficult struggle. It’s been amazing to watch the outpouring of people’s energy to help at the Mateel—something which will need to continue for the Mateel to thrive as a local Community Center. While we believe that the $500,000 isn’t nearly enough, it will help to re-establish a modest reserve for the Mateel, as well as help pay for long-deferred maintenance of the building. But the future of the Mateel no longer lies at the feet of a monster Reggae show—in fact, it remains in the capable hands of the people of Southern Humboldt, and the Mateel will remain strong with ongoing community support.

A Civil Action

I was up late the other night, aimlessly channel surfing, when I came across this 1998 movie, A Civil Action that looked interesting. The film is based on a true story. John Travolta stars as lawyer Jan Schlichtmann, who went broke representing families suing companies accused of dumping cancer causing toxic waste.

Something resonated with local events when, at one point in the action, Schlichtmann paused to ruminate:

The odds of a plaintiff’s lawyer winning in civil court are two to one against. Think about that for a second. Your odds of surviving a game of Russian roulette are better than winning a case at trial. 12 times better. So why does anyone do it? They don’t. They settle. Out of the 780,000 cases filed each year, only 12,000 or 11/2 percent ever reach a verdict.

The whole idea of lawsuits is to settle, to compel the other side to settle. And you do that by spending more money than you should, which forces them to spend more money than they should, and whoever comes to their senses first — loses. Trials are a corruption of the entire process and only fools who have something to prove end up ensnared in them. Now when I say prove, I don’t mean about the case — I mean about themselves.”

It’s over!

Heard this weekend from several well-places source that a long mediation session before Judge Warren has resulted in a negotiated settlement of the Mateel v. Dimmick and People Productions lawsuit.

A note from the Dimmick Ranch folks confirms that it’s true. “But we are not yet ready to release the details.”

All I can say is, peace is good. Let the healing begin.

More later…

{update – sort of]

Garth Epling writes to say the negotiation session lasted 15 hours, and,

The terms will not be confidential but are not yet final so I can not release any details.
If all works out we will reach final agreement some time in the later part of this coming week.

Take care,

– Garth