Reggae on the Mountain has found a new peak in 2022, for the first time bringing its celebration of the island music to the San Raphael and Santa Ynez mountains of Santa Barbara. The festival has grown by thousands of attendees since two teenagers founded it in 2009 in Topanga Canyon, leapfrogging from a community center to the larger King Gillette Ranch in Malibu in 2019, and now to the tree-lined Live Oak Camp. The lineup, too, will be Reggae on the Mountain’s largest yet. Ziggy Marley and Steel Pulse will headline, joined down the roster by largely roots-focused reggae artists, including Ky-Mani Marley, along with a few American acts who don’t stray too far from the genre’s form. You might call this festival, which is reportedly one of the largest reggae festivals in the country, a reggae purist event. Though not avowedly Rastafari, Reggae on the Mountain does support a version of natural living. It has a wellness village with yoga and holistic health purveyors, a Swissx medicinal CBD tent and enough arts and crafts vendors to have a bonafide shopping district.
The new venue has also brought more camping. For a price, you can bring your RV or a car to camp in, or rent one of the festival’s tricked-out Airstreams or glamping tents. Even iff you can’t swing a night under the stars, you can still spend your time splayed out in the grass. Reggae on the Mountain, and reggae in general, isn’t a jump around screaming kind of party. People young and old bring picnic blankets here to set up on the lawn, and kids run around playing and hula hooping. When you get hungry, and we suspect you will, we hear the jerk chicken sold at the festival is delicious.
- About 5,000 people attend.
- Tickets come in three levels, General Admission, VIP and VIP cabanas, all of which are available for one, two, or three days. A three-day General Admission pass starts at 260 dollars.
- The cabanas are not for camping, but high-design day tents that come with a concierge service, four VIP tickets and a lot of alcohol. A single-day cabana starts at 3,000 dollars.