Interview: Dan Wiltshire from One Love Festival

July 13, 2012

Dan Wiltshire is the founder and artistic director of the One Love Festival in England. It was first staged in 2008 at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the One Love Peace Concert in Jamaica. Two years later Dan made history by moving the third edition of One Love to Hainault Country Forest Park in Essex – the first specialist reggae festival in greater London in almost a decade. Fast forward another two years and the summer reggae festival market is considerably more crowded – with the 12 day Respect Jamaica series at London’s Indigo2 and Bristol’s Boomtown Fair clashing with One Love the same weekend. And this year Dan has decided to take his 3 day party away from the capital to Paddock Wood in Kent. Taking place from August 10th-12th the bill includes Cornell Campbell, Freddie McGregor and a clash between the legendary Coxsone and Saxon sounds. Angus Taylor caught up with Dan to discuss the past present and future of the event and how reggae music turned his life around…

Dan Wiltshire

How did One Love get started?

In 2008 when the 30th anniversary of the One Love Peace concert was coming up I was looking around and doing internet searches and nothing was being mentioned. Because it was quite a big thing in my life, and even though I’m not Jamaican and stuff, as a kid it was quite momentous. So in my subconscious – and I know it sounds a bit deep – there was something about it that was really special. I knew the people who looked after Bob Marley’s publishing and his image from previous stuff I’d done so we had a meeting and I said “Look there’s nothing going on” and ridiculously they were saying “Is Bob Marley’s influence as strong now as when he was alive?” and I was like “Course it is!” So I said “Would it be a good idea to do something like this?” and that’s where it started.

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