The Bay Area Vibez Festival brought a star-studded line up to Middle Shoreline Harbor Park in Oakland this weekend. Saturday’s fortunate audience had the honor of seeing Bob Marley’s royal sons Damian and Stephen. Saturday also served up the legendary ska/ punk band, Fishbone and the local hip hop group, Grouch and Eligh.
In a press conference, festival founder, Pretty, shared his dream of having reggae, hip hop and rock at one festival. Pretty’s dream became a reality spanning across two glorious stages. The sprawling, open floor plan was connected by endless water views reaching out to the Bay Bridge and San Francisco city skyline. We were blessed just to arrive at such a view but to then enjoy such a line up was incredible.
Day two of the festival brought us Kev Choice, Aloe Blacc with Sankofa.org, I- Wayne, BassNectar and Nas. Kev Choice conducted his set by inviting many Bay Area artists to surprise the crowd such as Jennifer Johns, Zion I, Viveka Hawkins and Selassie. No one could have represented the Bay Area Vibez more accurately.
It was no shock to us that when Nas hit the stage he professed his love for Oakland multiple times. His adoring fans gathered around him with welcoming hands in the air. Nas has twenty years in the game and it shows when he dawns the stage with confidence and a strong portfolio of classics. He delights us with song dedications to inspire the children followed by one for the gangstas. His infamous lyricism prevailed beneath the epic, super blood moon eclipse on Sunday just after sunset- like a magical gift from above.
The Bay Area Vibez festival benefitted HipHopSavesLives.org and even did their part to leave no waste behind. There was wonderful art and generous sponsor giveaways. The shuttle and Ubers were plentiful and easy to use. The professionalism of the crew was a breath of fresh air. We look forward to continuing the Bay Area Vibez tradition for many years to come.