REVIEW: SummerJam in Cologne, Germany

July 12, 2012

SummerJam‘s 27th edition tagline is Together As One. It was reflected in this year’s lineup: a study in diverse reggae extremes from commercial dancehall entertainers to Jamaican live band revivalists and chin-stroking modern roots popular in France and the USA. The old guard was represented by Burning Spear‘s prodigal return but it wasn’t the treasure trove of underrated veterans you would find at, say, Reggae Jam. Yet in its idyllic island setting, and attracting an equally diverse crowd from all over Europe, the festival and its atmosphere is the real star.

Rabbits lollopped through the campsite; revelers swam in the lake even when it rained. A drug information bus was on hand with “intoxication glasses” that gave people the feeling of being drunk (let’s hope no one combined them with actual intoxication). At one point a nudist swimmer got out of the water to dance at the dub sound system and was busted by security – drawing protests from the mc and the phones of passersby.

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