Bob Marley is one of the main reggae music icons in the late 20th century and the first one who spread it beyond the borders of Africa. The Rhythmic music is not the only reason why so many people love him. He was a believer and attracted crowds.
Promoted such slogans as love, unity, lack of classes, fight with the system, he didn’t fight by force but by words. The guy with the long dreadlocks used to say about himself: “I grew up in a world of racial prejudices. My father was white, my mother was black…and I was half-bred. (…) I never knew my father. Mother took care of me and my education and she sent me to school.” His difficult childhood induced him to fight with the evil in the world.
For many people it is an inseparable element of the reggae-subculture even sometimes posed next to the Lion of the tribe of Juda, and the red-yellow-green flag. His music is full of peaceful lyrics and his fans are usually pacifists, who are opposing to the system, appreciating nature and supporting tolerance.
The day of Bob Marley in most countries is celebrated on February 6 as a reminder of his birthday. In Skopje since 2003 on the 11th of May (the anniversary of the singer’s death) Bob Marley Festival is being organized at Gradski Park. This is one of the most important cultural events in the capital city. For years it has attracted young and old, families and friends and promotes love, understanding and tolerance and connects people through reggae music. This year the park was full of life and the smell of street food (valuable advice for next year, get cash, because there wasn’t opportunity to pay by card) and from the stage you could hear the whole day reggae and dancehall rhythms captivating to dance. During the day people were mostly relaxing in nature together, eating, some playing volleyball, others in Badminton, and others were practicing walking on the slack line. People tried to find some nice way to spend this day in my opinion the organizers lacked additional attractions. For those who, like me, in the afternoon were a little bored in the park, the night was a nice change. As it was getting darker, the people were getting more under the stage. The energy was amazing dancing, singing; the fun lasted until 1 a.m. All this time what you could feel in the air was ONE LOVE.
Speaking to some people on the event I found a lot of good vibes and enjoyment;
“I came here with my friends, to celebrate this Bob Marley’s Day. We’re here every year. I think this year here’s more young people. Everything is perfect; I wish everyday would be like this. I’m waiting for the night, and then the party will start. Now we’re chilling.”
“I’m here all day, with a lot of friends, it’s about 20 people. We came here because Bob Marley was promoting love, peace, freedom and these words are similar to us. Typical Macedonian chilling. I think everybody should come here to see this event. They can do everything here, drinking, eating, playing football, volleyball, tennis, just super picnic. You are all welcome in Skopje! And what is my favorite song by Bob Marley? “Three little birds”
“I came here with my colleague from university and their children. I was supposed to come back at 7, but kids have so much fun, they were playing some games all day, and I think we’re going to stay as long until they fall asleep. I was at this event for the first time in 2011 and it’s my 4th time here, and next time I’m going to go again for sure.”
“I think Bob Marley was one of first persons who spoke openly about that marihuana isn’t only a drug, he promoted Rastafarian, made really good music. Can you feel the energy here? Everybody is happy, not judging, chilling. Jah Bless us!”
“This event is great! I hope people celebrate it in every country in the world. But unfortunately in my opinion every year the energy is getting lower and lower. For example if you were here 5 years ago you would have had even much more fun. But if you like to party and you love people, you should come here anyways. And remember to be happy, love each other and spread the love all around the world!”
Anna and Marie, 25