June 5th was the official kick-off for the Amelia Island SunSplash free reggae concert series set to run through the summer. The event had something for everyone, including a beach clean-up, surfing competition, swimwear contest, as well as beach volleyball, ping-pong, and a sandcastle building event for kids. Wilmington, N.C. based Jah Creation was the headliner for the first day, performing with General Top Rankin of Gullah Rootz from Charleston, S.C.
Vehicle access to the beach was closed for the event, but a shuttle service was offered. Taking the shuttle proved to be a smooth, painless adventure, and at only $1 per person each way, an inexpensive one as well. Accessing the shuttle was a simple as parking at the Kmart on Sadler Road, and hopping into the mercifully air-conditioned van, which deposited passengers directly at the beach access.
The performance by roots reggae group Jah Creation was a wonderful way to start off the concert series. Jimmyjams, Carlos International, Jerome “Grits” Graham, and Rahn “Bam-Bam” Grimball entertained the crowd with conscious, Rastafari-based lyrics laced through with mellow, feel-good vibes. Most of the set that they performed was original songs, but they did pay homage to reggae kings Burning Spear, as well as Israel Vibration.
The next concert in the series is on July 3 and will feature De Lions of Jah and Spred the Dub. Sponsors of the Amelia Island SunSplash include Caribbean Breeze, Pipeline Surf Shop, and Sliders Seaside Grill. For more information about the concert series, visit the official Amelia Island SunSplash website, or find them on Facebook. And of course, stay tuned to this column for continuous coverage of the series.