One Love, the UKs premier reggae festival, is bringing together one of the largest collections of soundsystems to ever grace the English countryside.
The hop fields of Paddock Wood in Kent, for so many years a site for seasonal pickers balanced on stilts, will this summer be filled with towering piles of speaker boxes.
One of the greatest collections of traditional sound systems will be “stringing up” in the Garden of England, offering a rare chance to experience a music form that is slowly being driven out by technological change.
Coxsone Outernational, Saxon Studio, Youthman Promotion, Aba Shanti-I, will all be present along with both Jah Tubbys and King Tubbys. So too will Unity and Channel One. Most of the cream of British proponents of the Jamaican art of sound system – all on one farm.
We tend to think of the sound system as an urban phenomenon, the speakers stacked high on a street corner at Notting Hill carnival or a similar big city event. But the culture’s origins are also in the Jamaican countryside, as touring night-clubs that would play under the stars on the village green, or “lawn” to use the sound system vernacular.
“From their beginnings in Jamaica, sound systems have existed in outside locations and the English countryside is a perfect place to hear them,” says Dan Wiltshire, managing director of the One Love Festival, who has brought all the systems together in a rural setting. “So you have the sights, the smells and most importantly the sound of reggae music which you can literally feel as it comes off these big speakers. It’s multi-sensory overload.” ‘
One Love will be taking place on the weekend of August 10th-12th at Paddock Wood’s Hop Farm. For more details and tickets mosey on over to their website.