The annual tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley, the People’s Festival, holds its 24th concert this Saturday in Wilmington.
It will be free for the first time this year, thanks in part to a new partnership with Live Nation, says festival co-founder Genny Pitts.
“Every year it’s our purpose to bring more people to … get that positive message of unity and one love,” she said. “Bringing this free to the city has just really warmed my heart.”
Marley lived in Wilmington on and off in the 1960s and 1970s.
Pitts planned the first festival at the request of Marley’s mother, Cedella Booker, in 1994. In the 24 years since, Pitts says the festival has brought out love from volunteers, performers and the community.
Etana, The Mediations and The Hip Abduction will play inside at the Queen this year, and an outdoor stage on Market St. will feature The Image Band, Spokey Speaky, Jamall Anthony as well as local and up-and-coming artists.
Pitts says she’s been trying to book Etana for several years.
“She’s a great performer. She sings about some great positive things and just gives another perspective on, you know, the whole woman’s perception of where she’s at,” she said.
There will be international food vendors on Market St. featuring caribbean cuisine specials, as well as a Children’s Village with arts and crafts for kids hosted by the Delaware Art Museum.
The festival starts at 2pm Saturday, with indoor performances from 7pm to 10pm.
Festival partners include Live Nation, the Delaware Art Museum, Red Stripe Beer, the Delaware Historical Society, the Wilmington Department of Parks and Recreation, Downtown Visions and Delmarva Power.