Lagata Reggae Festival celebrates its 20th edition on June 30 and July 1 and 2 in Azuara. This year, local, national and international artists will perform on stage, including Ki-Many Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley.
The festival is entirely dedicated to reggae. It is organized by the cultural association of Lagata, a village of 100 inhabitants in the Campo de Belchite region, although right now it is held in Azuara, a nearby municipality. Therefore, with this initiative they also try to promote this territory of Aragon. In addition, they are proud of the great coexistence that has always existed among the attendees.
60% of their audience comes from the province of Zaragoza. However, fans from the rest of Spain also attend, as it is a niche event and due to its proximity to major Spanish cities. Many of the members of this movement have marked the next date in red on the calendar and last year 1,200 people attended for a single night. This 2023 is expected about 800 more, as the number of days of the festival increases.
Evolution of the Lagata Reggae Festival
The origins of this festival date back 19 years ago, when the Association of Friends of the village Lagata wanted the Zaragoza group Jash’sta to perform in the town. It was proposed for the town’s festivities, but they were met with a refusal from the town council. Instead, they challenged them to mount it and they accepted. In the end, on July 24, 2004, they organized a night with three performances: the aforementioned group from Zaragoza, We&dem -the seed of Irregular Roots- and La tribu selekthas, both bands also from the Aragonese capital.
More than 200 people attended, something unexpected for a town of about 100 inhabitants. For this reason, they decided to repeat and every year to expand it until today, in which in its twentieth edition they will have international artists, three days and camping. Between those beginnings and the present its evolution was remarkable because in the third year they had already planned two nights, one with djs and another with bands, and they also brought artists from outside Zaragoza. By the sixth year they could no longer fit in the town’s pavilion.
For the tenth edition of Lagata Reggae festival they decided to take it to another town, since the town council had difficulties to manage it. The municipality itself did not have enough services, so they had to set up everything from scratch on a plot of land.
During this moment of doubt, the option of the Zaragoza Campground came up. It convinced them, since both the organization and many of the attendees lived in the city. From 2013 until the pandemic it was held there. Even so they always had the idea of returning to the area from the beginning.
Just before the pandemic, at a meeting with young entrepreneurs from the Campo de Belchite region, the mayor of Azuara and president of the region, Joaquín Alconchel asked them if they would like to move it to their town. They welcomed this proposal, since the village is ten minutes away from Lagata and they were culturally active: artists such as 4Bob or Kei B came from there. They also saw it as a friendly place for the attendees and for the musicians.
Formation of the line-up
For the programming of Lagata Reggae Festival the organization always starts with a brainstorming. This brainstorming results in a combination of artists that can work and those they like. Then, they try to match them with their tours. Groups from Zaragoza always have their place: Jah’sta, Irregular Roots, The Magnetophones, 4Bob, Rapsusklei…
Hiring reggae representatives from outside our borders is usually the most complicated task. They have been left with the thorn of not being able to bring Toots and the Maytals, influential Jamaican group of ska and reggae music, who in their 1968 single “Do the Reggay” coined the word that would define this musical style.
This year they have fulfilled several purposes. In previous editions they perceived that there was little representation of ska. But this time The Toasters will perform. This New York group has carried this musical subgenre since the 80s.
Likewise, Lagata had been trying for a few years to bring a son of Bob Marley until they succeeded. When they received the news that Ki-Many Marley was coming, they were overjoyed. It is a name that places them as a reference for reggae lovers and among the festivals of Aragon. And this gives them more responsibility for everything to go well.
Early Bird: 30 euros (Includes camping)
Pass + BUS: 45 euros
Ticket office: 45 euros
Ticket 1 day: 30 Saturday or Sunday