THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL AT BYLINE is set to highlight all that's good about the world of ska, from it's roots in American Rhythm & blues, to the Jamaican originators, through the 2 Tone era and right up-to-date with 21st century ska sounds.


The London Int’l Ska Festival at Byline Festival

We are delighted to announce that the first four artists representing the London Intl Ska Festival at the inaugural year of Byline Festival are; Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell, Rhoda Dakar (The Bodysnatchers/Special AKA), Pama International and the mighty Gladdy Wax sound system.

- Dennis Bovell

Dennis Bovell is a legendary producer, founder of Matumbi and Jah Sufferer sound system, Blackbeard dub artist and  inventor of lovers rock (producing the genres biggest selling record Silly Games for Janet Kay).  He has collaborated with hundreds of bands and singers including; Linton Kwesi Johnson, Edwin Collins, Boy George, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, The Pop Group, The Slits, Alpha Blondy, Joss Stone and Madness, and wrote the film score for London’s iconic reggae film ‘Babylon’.

Dennis Bovell will be performing a greatest hits set on the Gladdy Wax sound system on Saturday 3rd July in The Beatnik Lounge.

- Rhoda Dakar

As the lead singer of The Bodysnatchers and Special AKA (with whom she co-wrote the vital Free Nelson Mandela) and collaborator with The Specials and Madness, Rhoda’s credentials with 2 Tone Records and in-turn British music culture are impeccable.  Last year Rhoda released “Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers” album (**** Mojo, **** Rolling Stone, **** Q) and is now promoting her latest ep “The LoTek4 - Vol.1”.

Rhoda will be performing an exclusive acoustic set at Byline Festival on Saturday 3rd July in The Beatnik Lounge.


- Pama International

Pama International are back after a 7 year absence with a radical new line up and new album- Love & Austerity.  Out in July the album has already picked up airplay from BBC1xtra - David Rodigan, who described their first single as  “premier rocksteady”,  BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 music, where the Craig Charles Funk & Soul show declared “as ever their productions & taste are faultless”, whilst Chris Hawkins enthused “they’re right up there with the best soul & reggae bands in the UK”.

In their first 10 years Pama Int’l recorded 9 albums, 3 BBCRadio 1 Maida Vale sessions, won the Rebel playlist on BBC6, and became the first new act to sign to Trojan Records in 30 years. Their collective nature saw them work with members of The Specials, Madness, Steel Pulse, Style Council, Galliano, Kasabian, Billy Bragg, Mad Professor, Michie One, Wrongtom and Jamaican legends; Derrick Morgan, Dave & Ansel Collins, Dawn Penn, Dennis Alcapone and Rico Rodriguez. 

Not content to keep his sound to the music world alone Pama Intl’s writer Sean Flowerdew work has been featured on nine British and Hollywood film soundtracks and television including ‘Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels’ and US blockbuster ‘Fool’s Gold’.

Pama International perform on Saturday 3rd July on The Red Carpet Lounge at midnight.

- Gladdy Wax sound system


The legendary Gladdy Wax is quite simply one of the UK's most highly respected sound system operators and selectors. He has been running his own sound system for 5 decades now. Starting out on Birmingham's Quaker City sound in the 1970s, complete with his trade mark white gloves, has become a bastion of Notting Hill Carnival and regularly DJs all over the world.

The mighty Gladdy Wax sound system will be in situ at The Beatnik Lounge for the duration of the festival.  Expect  the killer ska, rocksteady, reggae, rhythm and blues and more!  With guests galore.

Gladdy Wax sound system will be in The Beatnik Lounge on Fri 2nd July, Sat 3rd July and Sun 4th July (mornings to early evening)