By: Natali Mejia

Today was the day that I officially became a first time Cali Roots Festival attendee. As an inexperienced festival goer, I can safely say that today has set the bar extremely high for all future musical endeavors that may enter my path.

Cali Roots has proven to be much more than a musical festival. Rather, it is a celebration of art itself; bringing together a vast accumulation of passions. From the detailed paintings of talented artists to the charitable efforts of reggae support groups, I had the pleasure of admiring each display of expression. I witnessed adults come alive in the midst of these passions while little ones excitedly discovered theirs.

The sense of unity that one feels transcends all else when one sets foot on these fairgrounds. I myself was swept up in the vibrancy of it all and found myself cheering for those around me as much as I was cheering for the musicians I’d come to see. The performances themselves were unbelievable. Like true artists, the musicians did nothing less than captivate the audience with every song and lyric, You could see the beads of sweat forming on their brows as they sang into the mikes and raised the crowds to their feet. The result was a spectacle that was nothing short of breathtaking.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new comer like myself, you will be blown away by what you see. If you prefer to listen to the music from a safe distance of the crowds, you can still do so while taking advantage of the goods available from the various vendors and sponsors or the family-friendly activities that are hosted throughout the grounds. Friendly games of ring toss and an intense staring contest booth are popular fan favorites and can be enjoyed as you weave your way through booths lined with apparel and artwork. Regardless of your preferences, this festival caters to the needs of all who attend.

By the end of the day, you’re guaranteed to leave with a souvenir and a flood of memories. I will never forget my experience here at the 2017 California Roots Festival and will unquestioningly make my way back next year, The efforts of all who participated did not go unnoticed and I met a variety of souls who I will not soon forget. I hope to see the now familiar faces again next year and look forward to encountering the many new ones that I hope will be inspired to attend.