The 11th Chiemsee Reggae Summer 2005 was sold out again with 25,000 visitors! It started with amazing sunshine on Friday afternoon, August 19, 2005. When I arrived at the festival, beautiful warm African music from Mali was coming from the blind singer couple Amadou & Mariam. Jimmy Cliff followed playing sweet and powerfully–he ended his impressive show with his unplugged version of “Rivers of Babylon”.

Gentleman was next and played under a cloud free full moon sky. When he stopped playing, it started to rain. Just like last year, the sun didn´t really want to shine for the festival! But the bad weather didn’t stop the music lovers in any way. Forty great bands, sound systems, and djs on two stages were responsible for an unforgettable atmosphere. 250 artists from all over the world represented a great mixture of roots reggae, dancehall, ska, punk and latin jazz.

Saturday started with The Sixth Revelation. In 1992 they perfomed at the very first Chiemsee Reggae Festival and wrote the theme song for the festival. Then the Berlin band Ohrbooten came on full of energy. Later Desmond Dekker provided some good vibrations. A big disappointment was that Toots & The Maytals couldn´t make it to the festival in time, they were stuck in traffic in Italy. The girls melted away when Patrice came on the main stage. When headliner Sean Paul asked people to jump on Saturday night, it wasn´t all that easy! The more it rained, the more the field turned into a mud bath. Many shoes got lost, it was diffiicult to walk and definitely easier to just dance with your upper body…

The light inside the tent wasn´t very good for my camera situation–I am very sorry you have to miss out on some cool photos of great musicians like Dawn Penn, Blue Man Group, Mellow Mark, Jahcoustix, Les Babacools, Mutabor and many more.

Unfortunately I missed Earl 16 on Sunday morning. I arrived when Zoe & Band made the crowd happy. Macka B. & Royal Roots Band was powerful on stage and people loved his little intros/speeches before each song. The Gladiators played some amazing roots reggae and Lady Saw rocked the stage with her wicked style. It was raining again or still raining when Julian Marley & Uprising had their premiere at the German festival. I left the festival after 8 songs and could still hear Bob Marley songs while walking home.

15,000 visitors used the free public transport. Ticket holders were able to come to the festival by public transport from almost every part of southern Germany for free. A great alternative – reggae by bus and train!


The official Chiemsee Reggae Summer website is here for more information and reviews.