Reggae festivals with legend acts can offer some of the most joyful people watching. When the smooth and soulful Ken Boothe slides into his 1974 cover of Bread’s “Everything I Own,” the temperature at Saturday’s D.C. Reggae Splashdown will rise a few libidinous degrees. When Yellow Man busts out his 1983 dancehall classic “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng,” the lusty roar at the Half Street Fairgrounds will echo those heard next door at Nationals Park. But when Freddie McGregor starts playing his 1982 lovers’ rock anthem “Big Ship,” the impulse to wind and grind will explode with teenage levels of desire. You can bet that the hours leading up to the performances will be filled with classic reggae tracks booming over the sound system, accompanied by all the jerk chicken and artisanal crafts you can jam into your belly and backpack. Just don’t get too full in case your hips decide to make a surprise appearance.
The D.C. Reggae Splashdown begins at noon at the Half Street Fairgrounds, 1299 Half St. SE. $35–$100. dcreggaesplashdown.eventbrite.com.