Austin Reggae Festival returns after two-year long hiatus due to COVID-19

A longtime Austin tradition, the Austin Reggae Festival has returned for the weekend after a two-year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

"It absolutely feels wonderful to be back after two years away," said festival organizer Hugh Forrest.

Held at Auditorium Shores, the festival is dedicated to music, food, and having fun with a highly anticipated performance from Grammy-nominated reggae artist Julian Marley, the son of famous reggae musician Bob Marley, on Sunday.

"We've had the reggae festival for almost three decades and this is the first time we've ever had a Marley involved in the event. They're the first family of reggae, so we're really, really excited about that," said Forrest.

Besides the music, the festival is also raising money for the Central Texas Food Bank. "[The Austin Reggae Festival has] been involved with the Central Texas Food Bank for 25 years since this event started in 1994," said Forrest. 

A portion of ticket sales will go to the Central Texas Food Bank. Those attending also have the option to make separate donations at booths throughout the festival. "All of those dollars raised, every single dollar, is for meals for people in need," said CTFB director of community engagement Amelia Long.

The reggae festival has become one of the organization's largest fundraisers of all time.

"The reggae festival is a huge help because one in five kids in Central Texas right now is at risk of hunger, and that's just something that is not ok for our community, so it's awesome to see people coming out here, having a good time, and also supporting a cause that's so important to all of us out here," said Long.