Sugarloaf’s Reggae Fest celebrates 24th year at the “King of Spring”
The annual springtime festival was named one of the “Top Ten Spring Bashes” in North America by Skiing Magazine
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine – Some come for the music, some come for the snow, some come to party, and some come to hang out with friends. Whatever the reason, upwards of 10,000 spring skiers and reggae fanatics make the annual trip to Sugarloaf every April for the quintessential spring party, the Bud Light Reggae Festival.
In 2009 the festival was named one of the “Top Ten Spring Bashes” in North America by Skiing Magazine, thanks to thousands of fans, classic spring skiing conditions, and non stop reggae from ten of the country’s top bands. Sugarloaf was the only East Coast Resort to make the list.
What started in 1988 with one band and a handful of partiers has turned into one of the biggest spring events in ski country, attracting top reggae talent from around the world, including The Original Wailers, Barrington Levy, and Jah Cutta, among many others. Festival goers enjoy music throughout the weekend on multiple stages indoors, and free music all day on Saturday outside on The Beach.
The festival originated as a way to celebrate the deep snow, warm sun, and classic spring skiing that Sugarloaf has become famous for. With its northern location and high elevation, the ski season at Sugarloaf regularly continues long after most eastern resorts have closed for the season and into the month of May, which has lead many to dub the resort the “King of Spring.”
Reggae weekend begins on Thursday night with an official kick-off party in the Widowmaker Lounge, which is a hub of action throughout the weekend. Friday features an après party and nighttime concert in the Widowmaker, as well as a concert on Sugarloaf’s main stage in the King Pine Room of the Base Lodge.
The heart of the festival takes place on Saturday, when thousands of festival goers congregate in front of the Base Lodge for free outdoor music from five or more bands from noon until 6pm. From the Beach the party heads inside, with non-stop action and more live music in the Widowmaker and the weekend’s headline concert in the King Pine Room on Saturday night. Sunday features more free outdoor music as the crowds slowly start to disperse and the festival wraps up.
Sugarloaf’s Reggae Festival has become a tradition for friends a families throughout the years, with large groups making the annual trek to close out their ski season.