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Rasta Rhythms
Reggae festival attracts campers
Eli Pagello dances to the singing of Geneva, shown belting out a song in the background during Reggae at Smooth Rapids on Saturday afternoon.

Hey mon, Reggae at Smooth Rapids is finding its groove.
Year three brought a record crowd and an estimated 300 campers to lounge around and enjoy primitive hospitality over the weekend on Durham Street.
The two-day music festival offered visitors a package that included weekend camping, a kayak trip, and admission to all 15 bands for $50. Day passes were also available. It was organized by the staff at Smooth Rapids Outfitters in partnership with local band Whyte Noyse.
“We plan to keep making this bigger and better,” said Cotey Tanner, the bass player for Whyte Noyse. “The guys from Smooth Rapids are great to work with on this. They love music festivals and we love music festivals. As we grow, we hope to attract some bigger name bands.”
Tents snuggled up to the bank of the Barren Fork River and filled the Smooth Rapids campground to near capacity. Trees were strung with hammocks, giving visitors a place to chill after a refreshing dip in the water.
Jahlistic was one of the bands which played a Friday night show, making the trip from Charlotte, N.C. Members were in no rush to leave after their performance and were kicked back enjoying the accommodations Saturday afternoon.
Bell Buckle resident Eli Pagello came to the festival ready to dance. He especially liked the vocals of Nashville singer Geneva who came off the stage to perform among the spectators.
Whyte Noyse was a crowd pleaser during its Saturday night set. In addition to Tanner, the band includes local residents Jeremy McMinn on guitar and vocals, and Brandon Black on drums.
“We’ve been together for five years and we’ve played all over the Southeast,” said Tanner. “We’ve been as far away as St. Louis and Florida and played in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.”