The Unity Festival in Guerneville completed its third year Sept. 13-15, 2013 with a big thumbs up from the entire crowd. Attendees, artists, organizers, and vendors all had reason to applaud the outcome of a growing event that Unity crews aim to build up in forthcoming years. While attendance could be stronger, the numbers were substantial for a third round of an annual event drawing people from up and down the coast and Russian River, Sacramento and beyond.
The Reggae focus brought in a mixed crowd of music lovers that appreciated the variety of performers that appeared during the event. Headliners Marlon Asher and Irie Love wrapped up the weekend with obvious fans dancing, waving and, of course, smiling. Friday and Saturday welcomed evening headliners Mishka, Natty Vibes, Arden Park Roots and Rootz Underground while the three day festival filled the venue with near non-stop music from late morning to night with Kush County, The Steppas, Jet West, IrieFuse, Ambition Clique, Black Nature Band, Sol Horizon, Stranger and so many more. Every band brought their unique flavor to the festival and created a rewardingly positive vibe that attendees clearly appreciated.
The campgrounds were full and perhaps a wee bit crowded with small tents filling level ground areas. If you don't care to share your camp space, camping at the venue may not be your choice but the area is lovely and green with the Russian River flowing by at 15905 River Road. Other nearby campsites, lodges and further inland motels are available for use as well for those who want to enjoy the entire three day festivities.
Vendors with colorful wares, art, food and clothing surrounded the outer areas and crowds gathered to dance, chill on the grassy hills, or snap photographs and enjoy the sounds and relaxing vibes. Children rolled on the lawns or hula hooped along with the ladies rolling their hips. Somehow men rarely join in the hula hoop fun and this festival was no exception. And a few yards away people sat at the river dock or cooled themselves while chillin' on colorful inner tubes and floating chairs.
On top of all the obvious fun and musical pleasures, the Unity Festival is also a fundraiser benefit for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Nothing gets better than good fun for a good cause. Please see the accompanying list for highlights of the festival that give good reason to put the Unity Festival on your calendar to attend in 2014 and many years to come.