11:04:00 AM

People are still surprised when I tell them that Reggae and Dancehall are my favorite music styles. Especially about Reggae. It's a feeling I get of relaxation, freedom and happiness when I listen to the music and it just gives me good vibes. Dancehall gives me energy. Like how can't you start dancing when those beats start playing? I do and nothing can hold me back. 

It all started around 2013, the year that I discovered these music styles and my best friend took me to Reggae Geel for the first time. I've always been someone open to new music styles, adventures and activities. So festivals were new for me as well but as you can see now, I can't live a summer without going them anymore. Back to that first weekend at Reggae Geel: I remember how I felt like being on vacation. The sun was shining bright, reggae and relaxing music was playing every where and people were laid back, chill and happy. Of course I went back to the festival for the music each year until now, but especially that summer and happy feeling got me hooked. It's for me the only festival that can give me that feeling of freedom. And just therefor I will continue to come back, sun or not? No excuse! Each edition I come back home full of new ideas, inspiration, life goals and motivation. How crazy it might sound, it doesn't matter. Those who know me always see how I smile after coming back from it. On stages this year? Christopher Martin, Jesse Royal, Aidonia, Steel Pulse, Chronixx, Jah Cure, and many more. Last year artists such as Tarrus Riley, Dexta Daps, Ky-Mani Marley, Gentleman, Konshens,... Performed. Popcaan cancelled, but we forgive him.

So this year it was completely different. First of all we went as Press for the first time, so we were able to meet and interview the artists. Yup, Christopher Martin was definitely my top priority when it came to getting a picture with the artists. No way I was going home without meeting him. Check, check! Priority succeeded. But also Chronixx and Aidonia are added to my photo list. Last year I met Dexta Daps. Couldn't be more happy either. Haha! Well let's say that some want a picture with Beyonce, Chris Brown or Justin Bieber. I want a picture with them. Fair enough isn't it as Reggae and Dancehall fan? Next to that we also had the opportunity to see the artists front stage. Just imagine yourself how hard I was singing while Christopher Martin performed. Sorry not sorry for those around me but I'm a fan. Also all the people I met this year definitely made my summer. Those people, from artists to backstage staff or festival lovers, they are full of love and positivity. AWESOME. I ended up coming home at 6AM on Sunday after having one of the best nights of my life at Reggae Geel. My legs hurt the whole day. Luckily I didn't have to go to work after that weekend. I even met the artist Shawn Antoine that has some amazing music. Note to the organization: let him perform on stage next year! And check out his YouTube page for his music.

But can you imagine that they started back in 1978 in a little tent and that right now they're one of the oldest Reggae festivals in Europe? This year was the 39th edition and 50.000 visitors came from all around the world to share the same love. Unfortunately it rained a bit on Saturday but that didn't hold us back. Fashionable rain poncho's are our life savers during those moments. Like seriously; you don't give up on Tomorrowland either just because of some rain, right? We live in Belgium, you should be used to it. Next year in 2018 they will celebrate their 40th Birthday and no way I miss that. Even if I need to call in sick for some appointment; I will. I will also bring cake, #pinkypromise, for the celebration and champagne! Well, if they allow me to of course.

Those who've been to the Reggae Geel already know what I'm talking about when it comes to the relaxing and happy feeling at the festival. Those who haven't been yet: no excuse to not go next year. A lover of the music style or not: you need to experience the atmosphere! I even dare you to put it on your to-do-list. Note that each year a part of their ticket sales goes to a charity. Another reason to support and come!

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