Saturday’s inaugural Kulcha Shok Surf and Muzik Festival was created by Coconut Grove native and surfer Lance O to promote the reggae music and beach-culture vibe encouraged for nearly two decades by his record label based in Miami. That it’s happening in Pompano Beach should surprise no one, he says.
“More consistent waves and less red tape,” says Lance O, who has family in the city. “Pompano was very encouraging. The city has renovated the area, and they’re really trying to make some stuff happen there. … The [surf] kids are really excited. They’re tripping, in a good way, you know?”
The Kulcha Shok Surf and Muzik Festival will take place on the south side of the Pompano Beach Fishing Pier, with surfing, skimming and paddling events in a variety of categories beginning at 7 a.m. Registration starts at $20 (advance only; see Facebook.com/KulchaShokMuzik). Some proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation.
The entertainment will go from noon to sundown and includes seven bands, a surfboard art auction and a bikini fashion show.
Lance, an ex-BMX rider and national ultimate Frisbee competitor, says his target audience is where reggae comes together with surfing and extreme-sports communities. Saturday’s music lineup will be varied.
“It’s not going to be 100 percent reggae, but it’s definitely going to be focused around that and a little bit of that Jack Johnson-Ben Harper style, that acoustic singer-songwriter that’s kind of been labeled surf music for modern times,” Lance says. “Everybody in almost all the bands are surfers.”
The headliner is the popular Miami reggae band Jahfe, “one of the best bands I’ve ever seen, not just for reggae,” Lance says. But he’s also high on the down-bill acts.
T. Dezmain is a surfer who traded surf-inspired rap for a ukulele-driven acoustic sound. Longboarder Mike Maytin traffics in Grateful Dead, classic rock and Bob Marley songs. Brett Staska is a Palm Beach County surfer and singer for the group Roots Shakedown whose solo act mixes reggae and acoustic rock.
For more island sounds, there’s Trinidadian reggae artist Red Lyte, best known for the song “Come Over,” which got some airtime on Hot 105; Kolabo, a Latin performer who specializes in “raggamuffin” reggae; and Bizerk, who has an affiliation with reggae band Inner Circle and Miami’s Circle House Studios.
“He’s got a very interesting sound,” Lance says of Bizerk. “He’s actually done a song with Shaggy, and he did a remix with Inner Circle of the Wiz Khalifa song ‘[Young,] Wild and Free.’ Actually, his best song, in my opinion, is his latest song, called ‘Good Vibrations.’ It’s kind of like him rapping, in a Wiz Khalifa style, but then he sings the chorus in a California-style reggae.”
While this is his first festival, Lance is already counting on success — and a second Kulcha Shok Surf and Muzik Festival in Pompano Beach.
“Let me put it to you this way: If everybody has a good time, that’s a success to me,” he says. “I’m investing in the event, investing in the area. So it’s going to be an annual thing, whether I make $5 or lose $5,000, the show will go on.”
Here's Lance O talking with Bizerk, followed by a version of "Good Vibrations":
IF YOU GO
The Kulcha Shok Surf and Muzik Festival is noon-sundown Saturday at Pompano Beach Fishing Pier, 222 N. Pompano Beach Blvd. Admission is free (entry fee for surf competitors). Info: 786-276-6537 or KulchaShok.com.
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