Photos:  Peace, Love and Vibes at 9 Mile Music Festival 2016


Photos and story by Natty D Photography  for Reggae Reflection 

9Mile Music FestivalFans making their way to the 9 Mile Music Festival

The annual 9 Mile Music Festival is definitely the type of festival you will come back and visit year after year. This year the festival celebrated its 23rd year on February 27, 2016 at Virginia Key Beach in Miami, FL.  Reggae is peace, love and vibes and Virginia Key Beach perfectly set that mood.  After scanning my ticket I walked up the path decorated in red gold and green and came upon a view of the peaceful beach as I entered.

The Festival was full of every type of specialty vendor you could imagine.  There was a large variety of  food from the basic hot dogs and fries served at every festival, to Caribbean dishes such as stewed chicken, rice and peas and even vegan options. ​  Marley Beverage Co. also offered a tasting of their new drink 
  flavors.  This perfectly met the needs of those attending an all day festival.  In addition to the culinary vendors there were also several arts and craft vendors selling items such as t-shirts, sweat shirts, sunglasses, swimsuits, jackets, jewelry and any other items you could think of.  Services such as henna tattoos and massages were also available in the holistic center.


The center field in front of the stage was lined with people standing, laying on blankets or sitting on lawn chairs grooving to the hits played by the DJs and the featured artists.  The host Kulcha Shok as well as radio personality Papa Keith kept the crowd engaged as the DJs played various hits between the acts.  Kabaka Pyramid shared his conscious message with the crowd around 4:00pm.  Konshens who hit the stage after 5:00pm delivered several of his dancehall hits and really got the crowd moving.  


Dj Yardcoore
Around 6:00pm I was lucky to catch a promo copy of “Ancient Future”, thrown out by selector Yaadcore before Protoje hit the stage.  Protoje’s performance was full of energy.  His dance moves were so contagious even keyboardist Paris Lamont joined in on some of the moves center stage. 


Paris Lamont & Protoje on stage for some high energy moves
 It didn’t seem as though the crowd could get more excited, until Protoje brought Chronixx and Kabaka Pyramid on stage and the crowd went wild.  After Protoje, K Camp delivered some of his popular hip hop hits.  ​​




Kabaka Pyramid

Kabaka Pyramid
At 8:00pm Capelton delivered more fyah!  He really knows how to hype the crowd up.  Capelton’s performance is not normal.  He gives an exuberant production and literally flys across the stage, jumps up and down without missing a beat. ​​    



Queensbridge rapper Nas was next on stage around 9:00pm.  The crowd was definitely excited for his performance as he took the crowd on a journey through his albums starting with Illmatic to Life is Good.  The only thing the crowd was missing was a collaborative performance with Damian Marley from the Distant Relatives album.  Mr. Cheeks of Lost Boyz was unable to perform earlier in the day but was able to grace the stage and share a few of his hits before the Marley brothers hit the stage.  Mr. Cheeks also distributed some copies of his album, “Raised” to the crowd during his performance. 

Mr. Cheeks 

A Marley Finale at 9 Mile Music Festival

PictureDamian Jr. Gong Marley

 As soon as Damian, Stephen and Julian walked on stage everyone was on their feet and the entire audience moved in to get as close to the stage as possible.  After performing a few of their hits we got to see more of the Marley family when Skip Marley stepped out and performed a few songs.  The crowd was surprised again when the Marleys brought out Spragga Benz and Determine to perform.  The Marleys went on to perform several Bob Marley tribute songs which really had the crowd singing and dancing along.​


Stephen Marley

Julian Marley

Julian Marley




Skip Marley

Determine 9 Mile Music Festival


Elijah MarleyElijah Marley

We had one more treat when Elijah Marley, son of Damian Marley, came out to join the performance. This young man came out center stage had one foot on the monitor and hands up really engaging and singing to the crowd.  Hearing this young man sing Bob Marley’s One Love was so special.  I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in the coming years!

9 Mile Music Festival was not only a great musical experience but a great cause as they fulfill their philanthropic work by collecting canned goods for distribution to homeless shelters and domestic centers throughout the Miami area.  I am counting down the days to the next 9 Mile Music Festival.  Until next year, peace love and vibes!

Enjoy the  slide show of more photos below and be sure to check out additional photos in Natty D’s Facebook photo gallery.

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