The Old Port was abuzz with excitement for Saturday afternoon at Montreal’s International Reggae Festival. Fans at M.I.R.F 2015 donned plastic ponchos as they held their green and yellow umbrellas up high. The all-ages crowd huddled at the front of the stage with plates of Jamaican patties and jerk chicken in hand. Despite the weather, the energy was high octane as Montreal Reggae Fest’s artists took to the stage. Toronto Reggae artist, DJ Jabba warmed the crowd up with a selection of dance worthy tunes. You could see the life coming back into people’s limbs as they danced themselves dry.
The highlight of the night for me was the spinning-top charismatic performer, Kareem QQ Dawkins -– better known as QQ. With his traffic cone orange hair, he moved across the stage with an infectious and unbridled energy. He teased and interacted with the audience, and even brought a young girl from the crowd onstage. QQ has set the record as the youngest entertainer ever to come out of Jamaica with his hit song, Poverty written at the unbelievably young age of 10. The song climbed the local charts and airwaves in Jamaica. QQ’s takes to the stage with a unique ease; a far from rehearsed and inherent sense of cool.
While I couldn’t stay to turn up the “Temperature” with Grammy award winning dancehall artist Sean Paul, I discovered high quality new acts that made me move with their innovative rhythms. All in all, I was happy to have endured the rain for some Reggae. I wish I could have tuned in for more.