It's hard to beat this underrated annual event for its combination of budget price, good vibes and number and diversity of acts. If the weather's nice, that's just a bonus, mon. The 12th edition of the Houston-based festival, which as usual will make its debut here before beginning a nationwide tour, features dozens of local, national and international reggae, ska, fusion, funk and world-beat performers and DJs on two stages. Jugglers, dancers, poets and vendors selling food and irie tchotchkes populate the land in between. "Rastaman Vibration," this year's theme, is based on the idea that -- deep down inside -- we're all Rasta. (Gee, who knew?) And while we don't need any more frat boys with dreadlock wigs aping Trenchtown patois and toking on huge fake spliffs, no one beats the real, honest-to-Jah Rastas. Locals taking the stage alongside acts from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean include TexAfrikan, Cosmic Force, D.R.U.M. and Ben Hunter. The Endangered Species Media Project, Challenge 2000, Women Against Global Trafficking and the Ex-Enron Executives Lexus-Buying Fund will benefit from ticket sales. (Just kidding about that last one.)
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