GREENWOOD — Soulful irie tunes will fill the valley surrounding Mt. Abram as the first-ever Green Woods Reggae Revival gets underway this weekend.

The family- and community-oriented event will run from 11 a.m. Saturday, July 25, until 2 a.m. Sunday, July 26, at the ski mountain at 308 Howe Hill Road in Greenwood. Music kicks off at noon and camping is available for people wishing to stay overnight. Headliners include Sister Carol and Prezident Brown, as well as Stream, Royal Hammer, CatchaVibe, Cognizant Sound, Gorilla Finger Dub and I-Ganic.

The music festival is the brainchild of Paris native Joshua Gates, who’s putting on the event through his company, Avenue Media, in partnership with Evolve2Advance. He’s worked with the likes of the Jerry Garcia Band, Tricky Britches, Skrillex, Slightly Stoopid, Tribal Seeds and Maine’s own Spose.

Gates has always wanted to bring a music festival to Oxford Hills.

He owns a house in his hometown, but now resides and works in Portland. His “go home” attitude prompted him to launch this grassroots event, which is also a market for some local businesses to sell their wares.

I want it to embody Maine values and establish a space for creativity and community to come together and commune,” he said last week. “I always had this dream of creating this recreational music model that’s very specific to Maine, to camping and the outdoors and family-centric in support of a healthy, sustainable community.”


There were a number of reasons Gates chose reggae. The music in general “has a deep, rich, anti-establishment, family-based motif to it,” he said.

Though some African and Jamaican reggae artists are considered misogynistic, Jamaican-based artist Sister Carol stands in defiance to that anti-women culture.

When Sister Carol came across our table, we were incredibly excited. … That’s when I first felt we had something,” Gates said. “She came out of dance hall (reggae music). They’re very derogatory to women and not respectful, and Sister Carol rose up out of that scene. She is a very strong individual who speaks her mind and is very empowering to women, so I thought her, coupled with reggae, it really embodied what I wanted to promote — empowerment.”

In addition to creating a sense of community, Gates wants to invite 20- to 40-year-olds beyond Maine to travel to his old stomping grounds for a feel-good, musically based camping experience. He hopes to help boost the local economy through the festival and has already sold 250 tickets.

I think there’s a good chance we could get 500 to 750 people if the weather holds out like it’s supposed to,” Gates said. “It’s going to be amazing, and I have no doubt in my mind it will … be a successful endeavor.”

It wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the the local ski mountain opening its gates to the festival.

Mt. Abram’s support has been unparalleled and their hospitality has been humbling,” Gates said.

To order tickets or for more information on Green Woods Reggae Revival, visit

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