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Pato Banton Concert Recap from Lower Keys Reggae Festival

Pato Banton at Lower Key Reggae Festival

Pato Banton energized the crowd at the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd Annual Reggae Fest on April 2nd. After Calton Coffie’s last minute cancellation Pato played a two-hour plus “superset” that had children dancing on-stage and locals freestylin’ with the band. Reggae fans caught rhythmic performances from Marijah, Bongo D, and Pato’s Now Generation Band on scenic Sugarloaf Key. Keep checking for more details on the re-broadcast of the concert.

South Florida’s Marijah started the show as people set up blankets and lawn chairs under shade of palm trees at The Sugarloaf Lodge (Mile Marker 17). Local artist Bongo D brought the tandem freestyle team of Ike and Turner to the stage for the second set. Members from the Now Generation Band joined the opening acts with horns, percussion, and background vocals under the sweltering sun of the Keys. Children danced in tie-dies with peace signs as their parents cooled off with cold beer and tropical drinks. The concert celebrated the Lower Keys community with a large number of volunteers and local businesses selling raffle tickets, hotdogs, and T-shirts. Before headliner Banton took the stage he sat down with’s Kevin Redding to discuss growing up in England and the positive messages in his music.

Pato’s enormous personality is complemented by his noticeably compact ego. He doesn’t expect audience participation… He manufacturers it. He opened his first song from the crowd on a wireless mic behind the sound board. As the heat drove some towards the shade Pato brought dancing children on stage to draw camera-toting adults back to the action. He commandeered someone’s cellphone and recorded an “Eat your heart out Youtube and welcome to The Keys. Pato Banton is live at Lower Keys Reggae Fest,” message. He even dropped the retail price of his CD’s from 10 dollars, to 5, to “whatever you can afford, as long as you dance,” in the middle of a song. His clever stage show demanded attention as he spread  his message of peace, spirituality, and positive thinking. Pato Banton’s energy is infectious and his music outshines any day in the pool or out on the water. His encore included an organic freestyle moment with locals Ike & Turner that now only exists in our archives.

Experience the live energy of Pato Banton as we replay cuts from the show in the coming weeks here on

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