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European Reggae Contest

The Reggae Contest is the traditional competition promoted by the Rototom Sunsplash and devoted to all uprising European reggae bands.

The aim is to support new artists by providing a larger visibility both through the contest's promotional campaign and by offering a performance on the main stage of the festival to the winners.

The first edition of the Reggae Contest took place in 2002 and since then it has grown a lot, with an increasing number of bands taking part both from Italy and later on, from the rest of Europe. It has experimented many forms, but the favourite format remains live selection. The competition is for bands presenting original songs and lyrics, and no cover bands or artists proposing new versions of classics are admitted.


The 2008 contest was characterized by a record-breaking number of partners, festivals, European countries, contestants and jury members, as well as an astounding number of people voting online. National selections organized by every festival of the community brought to the main stage of Rototom Sunsplash the national winners for the finals.
The prize awarded to the overall winner was a European tour, performing on the main stages of all the partner festivals, and the inclusion of a track of theirs in the CD "People's Choice: The Reggae Selection" (Sony BMG Germany), distributed in all German-speaking countries.

2008 winners

European winners: ELIJAH & DUBBY CONQUERORS (Switzerland)


2008 ERC Community

16 festival ITALIA: Rototom Sunsplash -  Bornasco Reggae - Positive Vibration - Sardinia Reggae -Sikula Reggae - Gusto Dopa Al Sole - GERMANIA: ReggaeJam - SVIZZERA: Reeds Open-Air - AUSTRIA:House Of Riddim Festival - Wiesen Sunsplash - Spring Vibration - FRANCIA: Reggae Sun Ska - SPAGNA: Foundation Reggae -  Lagatavajunto - DANIMARCA: Raggapak - OLANDA: Sundance
3 live club ITALIA: Vibra - Fucina Controvento -AUSTRIA: Warehouse
1 label GERMANIA: Sony BMG 1 agenzia Gideon Production  - SVIZZERA


European Reggae Contest 2007 involved 12 reggae festivals in 9 European countries:

Rototom Sunsplash (ITALY), Reggae Sundance (NETHERLANDS), Reggae Geel (BELGIUM),  Chiemsee Reggae Festival, Reggae Jam, WeedBeat (GERMANY), House Of Riddim Festival (AUSTRIA), A Reggae Sun Ska (FRANCE), Belarreggae, Foundation Reggae Festival  (SPAIN), Samo Reggae Stan (SLOVENIA) e Seasplash (CROATIA)

and was promoted by 12 reggae media from 9 European countries:

Rastasnob (ITALY), Reggae-Live (FRANCE),, ReggaeRadio (SWITZERLAND), Riddim,Reggaenode (GERMANY), Reggaefever (NETHERLANDS), (BELGIUM), Inforeggae (PORTUGAL),Reggae-News (SPAIN), Slove-reggae (SLOVENIA)

The prize for the winning band: an European tour, that started from the main stage of the Rototom Sunsplash and from there on, to perform in front of the audience of the other reggae festivals involved in the contest. An extraordinary opportunity offered to the uprising reggae bands in Europe...

The mp3 selections for the 108 bands that had enrolled last year took place in spring. The selection was carried out both online by the audience and by a special jury formed by representatives of the European festivals and media partners.

Six finalists performed live in front of the Sunsplash audience on Friday, July 6:

Irie MaffiaRiddim Colony from Hungary, Rockers Roots from Spain, Steela from Italy, Sunrise Tribe from Germany and Tu Shung Peng dalla France.

Two more bands were admitted at the finals, namely the winners of the Italian Award, which took place on the previous day at the Sunsplash. Franziska e Jaka & Fire Band - won the selections made by the representatives of the European festivals. Other five bands took part in the Italian Award: BR Stylers, Krikka Reggae,Train To Roots, Boo Boo Vibration, Smoke.

The winners of the 2007 Reggae Contest

Franziska (ITALIA), Irie Maffia, Riddim Colony, Rockers Roots, Tu Shung Peng, Steela, Sunrise Tribe, Jaka


For the first time the shortlisting of the contestants is carried out online and involves the audience. Each band enrolled presents two tracks and the audience can only vote once, expressing up to 5 preferences for each category.

96 bands enrolled, and each category provides for 10 finalists.

In a second stage there is a further contest,V.O.I.C.E., aimed at the uprising bands from north-eastern Italy and Slovenia: the two winners will be among the finalists of the Reggae Contest.
The finals take place during the first week-end of the Rototom Sunsplash, in the Showcase Area. A technical jury formed by members from all over Europe selects 4 bands out of 10 in the two days of the contest. The final selection of the two winners for each category is made by the audience.

Winners: Train to Roots (Sardegna), Red Stripes (Lazio), Mighty Vibez (Germany), La Familia Torelli (Spain)




For the first time ever, the contest opens to Europe: various contests are organized abroad, following the same rules as the Italian one. The winner of each contest will perform live on the main stage of the Rototom Sunsplash. The juries involved (promoters, journalists, dee jays) are renowned local authorities on reggae music.

In Italy, the live selections are organized at Music Heart in Pordenone, Live Club in Trezzo sull'Adda (Milan), Babylonia in Biella, Vibra in Modena, Flog in Florence, Zenzero in Bari (organized by Bass Culture). The finalists (14 out of 65 bands enrolled) performed at Flog in Florence.

In Germany-Austria (42 bands) e in Eastern Europe (Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 6 bands) the bands are asked to send 2 mp3 each.

In Spain the winners were chosen thanks to a poll organized by the A.C. Reggae portal.

In Switzerland the Sunspash supports the "Sing-jay Live Contest" organized by Gideon Production, with live selections and a winner who will be accompanied by Cali P & The Scrucialists on the festival's main stage.

In 2005, nine bands were welcomed on the main stage of the Rototom Sunsplash

Gialloman & Caraibi Near (Italia), Eazy Skankers (Italia), Kohra 'n Papacalura (Italia), Nikitaman & Mono (Germania), Jahcoustix (Germania), House of Riddim (Austria), Brain Holidays (Croazia), Alamedadosoulna (Spagna), Elijah (Svizzera)


Having reached its second edition, the Reggae Contest becomes itinerant so as to enable the bands to reach more easily the venues. Thanks to the collaboration of various local promoters, live selections are organized at Vibra in Modena, Jaill in Legnano (Milan), Flog in Florence, TNT in Perugia and Demodé in Bari.

Seven evenings, during which 59 bands perform. Each venue has a different technical jury that will choose the finalists. The finals take place in Rome, at Brancaleone.

The winners are:

Krikka Reggae (Matera), La Vigna & Shanty Band (Roma), Orange Dub (Perugia)


The first edition of the competition comes organized in an only center, to Latisana (Udine), in the spaces that already accommodated the Sunsplash in 98 and 99. The event takes part of the Wintersplash, organized winter gathering reggae from the Rototom in the December 2002,and is a long marathon with 23 groups enrolled in arrival from all parts of Italy.

The winners are:

Les Totems Zion Beat (Vicenza), Dread Ina Babylon (Foggia), Mama Roots (Brindisi), Positive Men (Pordenone)


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