Roots | SNWMF 2017

Irie™ Magazine | Roots - SNWMF 2017

National Day of Reggae

Peace. Love. Music.

The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival promotes ‘conscious’ music. Conscious music is music with a message of peace, unity and brotherhood, which transcends the divisions of race and culture.

Over the past twenty three years we have endeavored to build a community where Conscious music, Roots music, and World music is embraced. Where bringing diverse people from many lands together in celebration yields more than just the sum of each individual present, but something much grander.

At SNWMF, people experience a unique sense of unity and belonging, a semi-utopian moment in time where love, generosity, joy and innocence can be reclaimed. We believe that music has the power to move mountains and change paradigms, and the phenomenal artists who have graced SNWMF stages over the past decade have imparted an overwhelmingly Positive force.

Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult. The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival offers a Family Camp area and an extensive program of children’s activities throughout the weekend – including yoga, music workshops, storytelling, arts and crafts, bounce house, games, and other entertainment. Camping is an integral part of the festival because it provides affordable accommodations for ticket buyers, many of whom are families with young children.

With beautiful streaming colors and exotic aromas, the Festival Village is an active marketplace of food and craft booths. The vendors are hand picked to provide an exciting array of international cuisine and arts. The 2017 Festival Village will be offering foods, crafts and art from such places as Indonesia, West Africa, Jamaica, Ethiopia and India. We welcome the input of nonprofit organizations, and many organizations representing a range of social and environmental issues will be tabling at the Festival. Created through the collective efforts of the artists, vendors, staff, volunteers and ticket buyers, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival is known for the positive, conscious, environmentally aware community it attracts.

The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival is dedicated to nurturing a world family peacefully united in celebration of the universal spirit of music. Come celebrate with us!


This year’s original art, created by Justine Ward, features the Jamaican Doctor Bird. It is said that the Doctor Bird is powerful magic. The ancient native people of Jamaica, the Arawaks, believed the God bird to be the reincarnation of dead souls. This elusive gossamer hummingbird is the national bird of Jamaica and lives no where in the world but the Island of Jamaica. Bad juju to anyone who harms even a tiny feather on its head.

“I looked at many photos of the Doctor Bird, the way their feathers look close up, Jamaican flowers and drew inspiration from spending time with my niece by my lily pond and the work of Escher. For me it represents the expression of how music at your festival makes people feel, the solstice and the gathering of people from all over the world.”


Justine Ward, has created originally themed, hand made paintings and drawings for SNWMF since 2000, Justine designed, built and installed the backdrop for the main stage at SNWMF. You can read more about the process of constructing the backdrop, which is made from all natural materials, here. Justine is based in New Zealand where she lives with her daughter, Kalyani.