March 11, 2017 Photos by Empress K and Natty D Photography for Reggae Reflection and Island Stage Magazine.
The annual 9 Mile Music Festival is an annual excursion to Miami for many devoted Reggae fans. Over the years, the festival has been held in a few locations including the favorite waterfront location of the historic Virginia Key Beach Park where it was held once again this year. Spectacular weather for the day-long festival paved the way for a diverse lineup of Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop artists appealing the large number of fans in attendance for the 24th edition of the 9 Mile Music Festival.
When we arrived at the festival mid-afternoon, Matamaba, a Bolivian Roots Reggae / Rock performer was onstage making a dynamic impression for the early attendees – even jumping off the stage at one point to get up close with the audience members. Next up was Canadian / Jamaican artist Kreesha Turner, the only female performer on the bill this year. She made reference to that fact and paid a nice tribute to Tanya Stephens. Tuner also performed a few crowd pleasing covers before treating fans to a preview of her new song with Shaggy.
Dancehall artist Charly Black made his debut appearance at the festival entertaining the audience with his popular material before performing his fan favorite song, ‘Party Animal’ which just recently became the first dancehall song to reach 100 million plays on Spotify.
Mighty Crown, the popular sound system known as the Far East Rulers out of Japan were on hand to warm up the crowd before the evening started.
9 Mile Music Festival Fan Gallery (click an image to start gallery)
Julian Marley was the only scheduled Marley brother to represent the family at this year’s event. He delighted the audience and brought out a few surprise guests including Spragga Benz, Stephen Marley and Damian Marley with his young son Elijah in tow to spice up his set.
The later acts of the night alternated between the remaining Reggae and Rap artists starting with Hip Hop Legend, DMX. Surrounded by several security team members as he entered the stage, DMX performed several of his well known fan favorites including ‘Get At Me Dog’, and ‘Get It On The Floor’.
Sizzla fresh off last year’s very successful return to the US Market is back on the tour circuit again this year. Due to time constraints his set was condensed to a short, but powerful medley of his greatest hits leaving no doubt that fans will be seeking out his additional performances this summer.
The finale was left to “The Boss,” Rick Ross to close out another exciting edition of the 9 Mile Music Festival.
In addition to the excellent variety of musical selections, a family friendly holistic village was set up with services including acupuncture, massages, yoga, and body painting as well as nutritionists and life coaches. Enjoy scenes of fans, vendors, and an african drum circle encountered at the festival.
Since the inception of the event in 1993, festival organizers have continued their annual tradition of giving back to the community. This year, the 9 Mile Music festival collected over 15,000 cans of food from patrons to provide to Curly’s House & Food for Life, a Miami based charity. We’d like to give our thanks to the 9 Mile Music Festival and Florencia, the media coordinator for her assistance at the festival. The generous onsite media tent with water and charging outlets was very much appreciated by the members of the media covering the event. We look forward to another fun-filled 9 Mile Music Festival next year.