A Tacoma tradition was born July 30, 2017 as thousands of happy revelers descended on the city's resurgent South Tacoma Way for the inaugural Reggae on the Way festival.
The sold-out event – created by Danno Presents – filled two city blocks with buoyant island grooves from Common Kings, Anuhea and other main stage acts, the mouth-watering aroma of gourmet burgers, barbecue, and enough smiling faces to remind old-school Tacomans of a time when that stretch of South Tacoma Way, between 52nd and 56th streets, was the city's premier entertainment district.
Musically, Puget Sound may best be known for grunge and garage-rock; but veteran promoter Dan Rankin has long known there is an insatiable appetite for reggae here, too, dating back to his days booking and managing and booking hotspot clubs and venues throughout Tacoma & Seattle, Producing Art On The Ave and curating other festivals. Last year, his vision of South Tacoma's potential gelled as he and his wife, Jessica, were renovating the Airport Tavern, an iconic neighborhood watering hole they re-opened in May of 2017.
“We've been nurturing the pacific nw music scene by supporting touring bands and local music of all genres for long enough to see the Tacoma music community was ready for a festival like this,” he said. “I feel like this was my calling.”
Reggae on the Way far exceeded expectations in its first year, but don't expect organizers to rest on their laurels for its second run, scheduled for July 28, 2018. Danno Presents has released a buzz-worthy partial lineup that includes national headliners J. Boog, The Green, The Expendables, Leilani Wolfgramm, Dubtonic Kru, Tatanka, Jah Sun, Powerlaces, Dub Lounge International, P.O. Boxx, High Ceiling and Mighty High. Danno Presents is currently working on releasing it's 2019 line up sometime in April/May 2019.