Welcome — What is this?

I started attending Reggae on the River in 1991 and haven’t missed one since. I’ve always gone with a journalist’s credentials — I started writing about music in Humboldt County around the same time I started going to Reggae — which means I’ve had the opportunity to see the show from all different angles. I’ve spent the first weekend in August talking with musicians backstage, hanging out with friends old and new in the concert bowl and in the campgrounds, and getting to know the people who have put the show together and run it.

I grew to love the festival and what it seems to represent. I also gained an understanding of the importance of Reggae to this place where we live, both economically and as an expression of spirit.

Right now Reggae is in a time of flux and it seems appropriate to make an attempt to examine its past, figure out what’s really going on in the present and contemplate the event’s future. I’m hoping I won’t be the only one doing so, that other’s will share their histories and and provide constructive insights on the evolution of Reggae as it moves ever forward.

That said, I don’t really want to provide a platform for bickering and unsubstantiated rumors — comments will be moderated by me and me alone and I ask that anyone who has something to say identify themself — or provide a really good reason as to why you must remain anonymous.

For the last few months I’ve been covering the struggle revolving around the event for the North Coast Journal and I will continue to do so. Don’t be surprised if some of what I write there appears here — in expanded form or otherwise. I will also post information that comes to me from official sources — the Mateel and any others and the occasional historic document.

Let me know what you think — about the festival, what is means, what it could mean, where you think it should go next.

peace – Bob Doran

p.s. If you’d like to become a co-host of this blog with full posting privileges let me know.



  1. Bob – What an exciting interview! I’m so glad that you recognize and take a real interest in the spirit of Reggae and how it characterizes the (So.)Humboldt community. I’m also thrilled at the content of the interview: Boots’ history and reputation in the industry, his mention of GENTLEMAN (!!!), and good intentions he will bring to the future of the show. My soul has tremendous gratitude to all those who made Reggae happen in the past and great faith that the future will deliver yet more irie times.
    Again, thanks for the article!


  2. Thanks Bob. This ws a good read.
    I posted a link to the blog on the official ROTR site. The fans will appreciate the info it contains about how the music is going to change!
    Bob… “no anonymous posts” is certainly appreciated by me!




  4. Thanks for a great interview Bob, I love the thought of Reggae on the River returning more to the roots. I also want to thank you for the wonderful background piece you did in the NCJ.. even for some of us old-timers, it was good to understand the time-line-flow.

    bobbi wisby


  5. The original “roots” music for ROTR was a diversity of music styles e.g. Moo Moo and The Creamers, David Lindsey and El Royo X, Airhead, etc. I suggest future concerts feature more diversity, old and new groups, the best of the locals, experimental, etc. How many times can one see the same reggae acts without it becoming tiring? Wasn’t the name “Reggae” attached to the festival because there was a local ordinance against “Rock” festivals, or is this a urban legend?


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