Raggamuffin 2016

By Pauline Hunt

Date / Venue: Saturday February 20th, 2016 - Trusts Arena, Auckland

Raggamuffin Festival 2016 was a day full of beautiful weather, loud music, and a lot of excitement. The festival is now in it’s 9th year running and 2nd year being held in Auckland. It was another day for people to come together who all had one thing in common, to listen to some live international acts and to enjoy themselves. Raggamuffin didn’t come without its obstacles, with change in the line-up months before the festival was due to happen. It was originally announced that Cee-Lo Green and Beenie Man were to join in the festivities, until controversy later on prevented them not being able to join the line-up. That meant adding nine new acts to make up for it.

West Auckland’s Trust Arena was full of people dressed up in reggae colours as well people representing which artists they were mainly there to see perform. Local artists ReZist, Cool Meditation, LAB and Aotearoa Reggae Collective were the groups who were chosen to start the day off. Followed by the well-known Savage, with some of his Deceptikonz brothers joining him on stage. Performing hits such as ‘Moonshine‘, ‘Swing’, and ‘Freaks’ to keep the audience entertained and hyped up ready for the day.

Jnr Marvin’s Wailers hit the stage next singing renditions of hits such as ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ and ‘One Love’. Maxi Priest was to follow them bring energy to the stage while jamming to some of his biggest hits. Bring music to our ears next was Hip Hop group Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E along with Monsta. Performing a couple of their big hits and a lot of gang representation in red. Savage also took to the stage to perform with them before they ended their performance with ‘Ballers Prayer’.

90’s queen Diana King graced the stage next and it sounded like time did not mess with her voice. She sounded soulful as ever. Performing her big hits such as 'Treat Her Like A Lady’, ‘Lies’, ‘No, No, No (You Don’t Love Me), ‘Say A Little Prayer’ before ending it with her biggest record ‘Shy Guy’. She also took the time to perform a new single ‘Infinity’.

House of Pain with Everlast came on stage next and also took the chance to play some of their big hits, making the audience scream and dance. Their biggest hit of course ‘Jump Around’, was one to make everyone (including young ones) indeed jump around.

Reggae group Inner Circle brought summer beats to the stage as well as summer vibes. Starting their performance off with a reggae version of ‘Young, Wild & Free’ before going on to their own major hits, ‘Games People Play, ‘Sweat’, and ‘Bad Boys’.

After a great performance and a crowd alive on music and sunshine, MC K’Lee from Mai FM took to the stage to announce some bad news “The Game has missed his flight from Dubai”. Which of course meant that he would no longer be performing at Raggamuffin. A lot of boos followed along with a couple of people complaining say that he was the reason they came. K’Lee then announced that he would be doing 3 shows in September and would be given a 20% discount.

After a crowd that was disappointed, the man himself ‘Mr X to the Z' Xzibit brought his hop hop act to the stage. That seemed to help bring the mood back up. Gone were his infamous cornrows but still bringing energy to the audience. With hit’s such as ‘X’, ‘Get Your Walk On’, and ‘Multiply’ playing loudly through the speakers as well as rapping his verse from ‘What’s The Difference’ which is a record from Dr Dre.

Sly & Robbie along with Bitty McLean came on stage next along with their respective instruments. ‘Dedicated To The One I Love’ and ‘Lately’ are just a few of their records they belted out. After what seemed like a long instrumental break, it was time to bring out Macy Gray. ‘Why Didn’t You Call Me’ was her first record that was belted out. Next was a new single ‘The Way’ followed by ‘Special’ along with her other main records before ending her time on stage with ‘I Try’.

One of the main acts of Raggamuffin was to come onto the stage next, which I’m sure were the main reason why half of the audience turned up. They definitely did not disappoint. Rap lyrics from records such as ‘Gravel Pit’, ‘Ice Cream’, ‘C.R.E.A.M’ as well as ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit' and ‘Tearz’. Everyone was in the party mood especially with Wu-Tang and they knew it. A lot of energy was brought to the stage but who can blame them considering it’s been a while since they last performed together. Before they left the stage GZA took to the stage to rap some lyrical poetry.

The last act of what seemed like a long eventful day was of course none other than UB40. Bringing to the stage all their well known hit like ‘Here I Am', 'Come & Take Me’, 'Cheerio', 'I’ll Be Home Baby Tonight’. They also took the chance to perform new records such as ‘Easy Snappy’ and ‘Boom Shackalaka’. Before ending the rest of their performance with their huge hit ‘Red Red Wine’, ‘Kingstown Town’ and the ending the night ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love’.

Another year over for Raggamuffin. Overall the day was successful with every artist bringing their all to the stage and entertaining an audience that were loving the sun as well as the company. There were a few disappointments, but there were more positives than there were negatives.