For many out there within the reggae scene California Roots Music and Arts Festival a.k.a. Cali Roots is the primo event of the year. Featuring an arsenal of the genre’s top headliners plus the most promising up and coming talent, Cali Roots spreads across three days and two stages at Monterey County Fairgrounds and Event Center, the same venue where the American music festival tradition began with events like Monterey International Pop Festival, back in 1967, the Summer of Love. Rootfire is offering a pair of 2018 Redwood Passes to one lucky winner – make sure to enter below.
With the final artists announcement happening this Wednesday, Rootfire caught up with Cali Roots co-producer Dan Sheehan about finding talent, who he’s looking forward to this year, and what he’s involved with when not putting together one of the fastest growing music festivals of its size.
Rootfire: For many up-and-coming artists, getting a set time at Cali Roots is a milestone in their career. How do you navigate the flow of new talent? Do you rely on word of mouth through the industry, or do you have an approach for active talent scouting?
Dan Sheehan: Its a combo of a bunch of elements. I look at their touring, who they are touring with, their live set etc. Also how active they are on socials. I also listen to ticket buyers and who they want to see.
RF: What’s happening at Cali Roots 2018 that you’re particularly looking forward to? Any new acts or festival offerings that are going to make this year’s event stand out?
DS: We are always stoked to have a show with Atmosphere! He’s a Cali Roots favorite and also an artist that is on my daily playlist. Dispatch is another artist I am so excited to have on this year’s festival. Truly a special artist.
RF: The lineup curation of Cali Roots has always made it stand out. Tell us about what other events you put on throughout the year where people can catch the tastemaker event billing we’ve come to associate with Cali Roots.
RF: I seem to recall when we were hanging in Cocoa for Rootfire At The Park that you had a new movie theater restoration project going on. Give us the scoop on this new venue and what’ll be happening there in 2018.
DS: Yes I am a partner in the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. We are working hard to bring great artist and events to this new venue. In the Cali Roots scene, we have Stick Figure and J Boog coming up in the next few months, but the venue hosts all different types of music. We love the place!
RF: Anything else you want to make sure people know about Cali Roots?
DS: Year 9 is the set up for year 10 which will be huge for us!