Reggae on the RiverHumbolt County’s massive reggae event, Reggae on the River, has a new home beginning in 2006. The Mateel Community Center Inc. and People Productions recently announced the signing of a long-term lease with Southern Humboldt local, Tom Dimmick. The new site will be just south of the current site.

“We are very excited to make this big beautiful place on the river available for this crucial community event,” said Dimmick. The new festival site is the Dimmick Ranch, located at the south end of its current location on the adjacent property, across the river from the south beach swimming hole.

Mateel Community CenterBoth the Mateel Community Center and People Productions expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Arthur family for their graciousness in hosting Reggae on the River for more than two decades. “It is our deep hope that we will still continue to work together by blending this sacred site into one of the many new and wonderful components of Reggae on the River’s new home,” said festival producer Carol Bruno. “We would also like to thank the Piercy community for working with us to help facilitate the biggest fund-raising concert in Humboldt County.”

Throughout its 22 years, Reggae on the River has evolved into more than a music concert–it has become a tribal gathering of eclectic people with a consciousness that is held together by the “love and the unity” that is generated in the music. 2006 marks the beginning of a new era for the family of dedicated fans, volunteers and coordinators who come from all corners of the globe to make this yearly spiritual pilgrimage.

The organizers were unable to confirm whether or not this new site would be an expansion to the 10,000+ capacity previous site. They are looking to make a smooth lateral transition, and then will discuss whether or not to expand.

“We invite everyone to attend next year’s festival and celebrate a new beginning in the Spirit of Unity. Reggae on the River is more than a destination. It is a cultural idea,” said Taunya Stapp, Executive Director of the Mateel Community Center, proprietor of the event.

It will be interesting to monitor the planning of the 2006 event, from the line-up to the infrastructure to the ticket sales. Can this finely-tuned machine move without disruption? Only time will tell.