Reggae Hits Kandos

Eric Rennaud fronting Caribbean Soul
Errol Renaud fronting Caribbean Soul

Yesterday was the Bob Marley Festival here in Kandos – a day to remember! It seems to me like there’s lots going on around here, but it’s really only that although lots of events happen in Sydney, I (and most others I suspect) don’t make the effort to attend. Here where there is so less in the way of entertainment, everyone, and I mean everyone, gets out to enjoy the day and participate.

The Markets – something for everyone

The Bob Marley Festival was the brainchild of Dave and Sue from Down the Track Cafe and held on the Railway Green which is just down the end of the main street. It was well organised with a central location, good parking and lots of space for the band stage, markets, dancing and others to set up rugs and chairs slightly away from the main fray but still be able to hear and see the stage clearly.

Kings of Congo Congo getting the crown in the mood
Kings of Congo Congo getting the crown in the mood

The day ran well over the scheduled 4pm finish, with the band submitting to encore requests. With a carnival theme, the day had markets, caribbean food stalls, and of course, the bands.

The musicians included Errol Renaud with his band Caribbean Soul, one of Sydney’s big reggae acts, playing in major venues such as The Basement.

Local band Fig Jam and the Kings of Congo Congo percussion group also entertained the crowds, with the drumming being a personal favourite.

It was great to see such a turnout of locals as well as an audience from Lithgow, Blue Mountains, Mudgee, Sydney and many other areas who had travelled long distances to spend a weekend in beautiful Kandos. It was also great to watch a crowd from toddlers to grandparents jiving away in front of the stage and making the most of a very special event.

Knitters responding to the theme
Knitters responding to the theme
Colourful food

As for me, I was there from an hour before to the very end with a good friend from Sydney, sitting with my neighbours. I scored a crochet Rasta hat, complete with dreads, a vintage mohair cardigan and a timber birdhouse from the Men’s Shed. Corn on the cob and a sausage sizzle with Jamaican salsa (with a strong kick) kept me nourished. Lots of other food was available including jerk chicken sticks and some highly suspect brownies.

I had a great time and it looked like the others did as well. I imagine festivities went on well into the night, particularly with those making it a weekend getaway. Hopefully we have a repeat next year – even bigger and better.

Getting into the spirit of Bob
Getting into the spirit of Bob

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