Buckroe Beach Reggae Fest will feature Session Rockers, Nature's Child, Tuff Lion, Living Truth

The Buckroe Beach Reggae Fest will return May 17 with a lineup that features area stalwarts Tuff Lion, Session Rockers and Nature's Child as well as Richmond's Mighty Joshua and veteran roots artist Leroy "Living Truth" Ridgeway.

Wilmington, N.C. band Steve Martinez and The Give Thanks Band will also be part of the free event held annually at Buckroe Beach Park in Hampton since 2011.

Organizer Kevin Purnell said he's especially excited that Living Truth will be part of the festival. "I've been listening to him for 20-some years," he said. "This will be his first time in Buckroe, but in a way he's always been there because I've been playing him on my boom box on the beach. This will be a unique, one-time only show. This guy is the original reggae."

Vendors and children's activities will be part of the festival, which will run 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

"The whole message is trying to bring people together," Purnell said, noting that the event won a City of Hampton Unity Award in 2012.

"Unity, that's the main purpose," he said. "Getting to know your neighbor, you know?"

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