Thursday, February 22, 2024

Fantastic Negrito returning to Victoria for Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival this weekend


It’s time to end the summer on a high note, Victoria!

The Victoria Jazz Society is inviting everyone to their annual BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival running from Friday, August 25th to Sunday, August 27th.

They promise a weekend of exceptional performances, high energy, meaningful connections with the lyrics and crowd — all underneath the beautiful summer sky at Ship Point in downtown Victoria or within the atmospheric walls of Hermann’s Upstairs.

Every year, the Harbour Roots ‘n Blues features a star-studded lineup of musicians and 2023 is no exception.

With artists like Samantha Fish featuring Jesse Dayton, Allison Russell, Boy Golden, Mazacote, and Fantastic Negrito, audiences are in for a wonderful ride!

Leading up to the event, Victoria Buzz got the opportunity to speak with one of the featured headliners, Fantastic Negrito — an American singer-songwriter with music spanning across roots, blues, R&B, and more. 

His passion to create and spread positivity began with his performances on train station platforms and has continued to deepen into a spark-filled passion as each new opportunity to share his music arises.

“Music [is] what brings people together,” he said.

“I just want to…bring goodness and healing to the stage…I love to bring that message of love and unity.”

He highlighted how much the industry can be the exact opposite of that — seeped in toxicity.

It’s why he doesn’t consider himself to be a chaser within the music industry, but rather just someone here to carve his own path, spread good messages to his audiences, and remain a gracious guest wherever he goes.

“You gotta be grateful to be there…and that’s what excites me, that I get there…[and] inject some good feelings about living.”

For fans and first-time listeners alike, he promises an authentic Oakland sound — a soulful testament to where he’s from and the history behind the Bay Area.

“It’s such a unique place…I really look forward to bringing that sound to Canada,” Fantastic Negrito said.

“That rock, funk, groove, soul, spiritual, gospel, punk, everything into one Subway sandwich.”

When asked if there are any songs that audiences connect to, he named ‘Lost in a Ground,’ ‘Chocolate Samarai,’ and ‘Bullshit Anthem.’ 

You can catch his performance and experience it for yourself at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 25th at Ship Point — tickets are $42.50 and can be purchased here.

“We’re gonna take that spiritual high that music and the vibrations can provide…you may laugh, you may cry,” Fantastic Negrito said.

“That’s why I call my crowd ‘church without religion’.”

Ticket prices for the festival vary depending on the show or package you wish to purchase — whether it’s individual performances or the full weekend pass. 

In addition to the festival’s ticketed shows, there will be 8 free performances on the Ship Point Main Stage on Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th.

BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival

  • Where: Locations vary — check full schedule for all the details
  • When: Friday, August 25th to Sunday, August 27th

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