By Stephen Weir
It is a new Mississauga tradition: Reggae on Friday, Soca on Saturday, and a last lap Boat Cruise on Sunday to cap off an Irie weekend.
The music is free. The parking is free. People of all ages, yes including families, are welcome at this weekend’s TD IRIE Music Festival (June 21 to June 22), 2018. It takes place at Celebration Square, next door to the Square One supermall in Mississauga, and then wraps up on Lake Ontario on the Yankee Clipper June 23rd.
“We started this festival a long-time ago in Toronto in a variety of locations from Queens Park to eventually Nathan Phillip Square,” explained Festival founder Phillip Vassal. “ We had to leave for the Pan Am Games and when that was over we came back to find out the cost of being at City Hall had risen like a rocket! We moved and took a chance on being in the heart of Mississauga, and we have not looked back.”
“This is Irie’s seventeenth year,” he continued. “And while festivals are cutting back, we continue to grow. Mississauga loves us, and, Torontonians are happy to make the short trip west to Mississauga Celebration Square adjacent to the Square One Mall.”
The music and food festival will see, weather willing, by 30,000 to 40,000 people moving to the music of both local and International headliners. This year Grammy nominated reggae and dancehall singer, Junior Reid will be performing on Friday. Camera readers will know him for the classic tunes, “One Blood”, and “This Is Why I’m Hot”. Reid is a prolific solo artist and former lead singer for Black Uhuru.
Trinidadian Soca star, Farmer Nappy will own the outdoor stage on Saturday night. His hits “Big People Party,” “My House,” and his latest, “Hookin Meh” are popular road music songs. This weekend he will be backed by Toronto Soca band, Level Exodus.
Canadian talents include Slim Flex, award-winning Ghanaian Canadian Afro-Beat artist, D’Enforcas Sound Crew, DJ Carl Allen and more.
“Dance groups are also an essential part of the TD IRIE Festival. This weekend we will include the 2019 Summer Showcase by dance Immersion, a dance umbrella organization,” Vassar told the Caribbean Camera. “Performers booked for Friday and Saturday include Artists in Motion, Mabinty Sylla, Rodney Diverlus, Shavar Blackwood and EDIFY: Elite Dance Initiative for Youth.”
Gates open on Friday at 6pm and the Reggae music will play until 11pm. Soca Saturday begins at 2pm and ends at 11pm. On both days there will be an army of Caribbean food vendors and there is even a Jerk Fest competition. Of course, Mas is not forgotten either, models from Epic Carnival will be on the square.
On Sunday after the music is over, TD Irie, along with Farmer Nappy, Chef Marvin and three of the GTA’s top DJs will take to the water on board the Yankee Lady III with the annual TD IRIE Fest Boat Cruise. The $45 Toronto Harbour Cruise boards at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto at 1pm. The large party boat sets sail at 1.30 and returns to land at 5.30.
“You know what we always say about the festival,” said Phil Vassell. “Come hungry, dance to great music, meet new friends and stay late. Every ting is Irie!”
#Junior Reid#Farmer Nappy#Caribbean Show #Irie Festival Mississauga#Phil Vassell