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The original item was published from 7/31/2019 2:53:00 PM to 8/18/2019 12:00:25 AM.

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Posted on: July 11, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Billsburg Brewery Hosts 1619Fest

1619Fest - Akae Beka

Billsburg Brewery is pleased to announce it is hosting 1619Fest on Saturday, Aug. 17 from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. at its brewery located at 2054 Jamestown Road. The event will feature a vendor fair, Kemetic yoga, open mic, kid’s zone, panel discussion and live music performances.

1619Fest is a tribute to the 400th anniversary of Africans being brought to America featuring activities highlighting the history and honoring the memory of the first Africans who were brought to Jamestown.

“The arrival of Africans in 1619 is not only an important part of the origin story of Jamestown, but was one of the most consequential events in all of American history, so it was extremely important for us to help commemorate this year,” said Thelonius Cook, 1619Fest founder.

“I am thrilled to help coordinate this event and bring a world-class musical act such as Akae Beka to Jamestown, the site where Africans were first brought to America,” said Corey Fenton, 1619Fest co-founder.

Schedule of Activities

  • Participation in Commemoration of the Arrival of the First Africans at Historic Jamestown (separate ticket required) including the First Africans Walking Tour
  • Vendor fair from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Jamestown Discovery Boat Tours (separate ticket required) at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.
  • Sounds of Freedom at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. featuring music, folklore and dance
  • Yoga events at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.
  • Panel Discussion 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
  • Open Mic 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
  • Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble from 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Live reggae concert featuring Akae Beka with opening performances by Mighty Joshua and Cultivated Mind from 5-10 p.m.

Akae Beka is the current manifestation of the evolving consciousness of Vaughn Benjamin, a St. Croix native, who has performed roots reggae music since forming the band Midnite in 1989. Many Midnight members perform in Akae Beka. Akae Beka has performed across five continents and numerous festivals including Bonnaroo. 1619fest is thrilled to welcome Akae Beka.

Opening acts, Mighty Joshua and Cultivated Mind, are both Hampton Roads-based reggae artists.

Attendees are invited to attend as many activities as they would like or they may just choose to attend the concert featuring Might Joshua, Cultivated Mind and Akae Beka. Tickets may be purchased online for $30.

For more information about 1619Fest, please visit the 1619Fest website, on social media @1619Fest or email

Media Contact:
Laura Messer, Tourism & Marketing Coordinator

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