Reggae star rises up in new bronze sculpture in the Baltic Quarter

We could all learn a few lessons from Bob Marley’s mantra for One Love and now a bronze statue in honour of the King of Reggae has been unveiled in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle.

Every kind of peace throughout the world is under threat right now and we need our champions

Commissioned by Positive Vibration Festival of Reggae, the project celebrates Bob’s impact on millions of people around the world and has attracted international attention –particularly in his birthplace of Jamaica where excitement has been growing ever since the statue was first announced.

Bob Marley Statue Liverpool Baltic Quarter Andy Edwards Positive Vibration
The Bob Marley statue was commissioned by Positive Vibration

Robert Nesta Marley was one of the pioneers of reggae and his massive contribution to music has made him a global figure in popular culture. The Rastafari icon survived an assassination attempt in 1976 but the following year was diagnosed with cancer on his toenail. 

Marley died on 11 May, 1981, but his musical legacy lives on and he is recognised as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of more than 75 million records worldwide.

The seven foot tall bronze statue of Bob Marley in Liverpool was sculpted by Andy Edwards whose other works include the popular Beatles statues at the Pier Head. 

Bob is situated on the Baltic Creative plinth on Jamaica Street, and organisers of the Positive Vibration festival say that after a turbulent and difficult year for everyone, the reggae singer’s message of unity, love and compassion is much needed.

Bob Marley Statue Liverpool Baltic Quarter Andy Edwards Bronze Artist Positive Vibration
Sculptor Andy Edwards created the seven-foot bronze statue

Artist Andy Edwards said the work came about simply by a few friends getting together.

“Like so many all over the world, Bob was our hero and what he did and strove for still means so much,” Edwards said.

“Peace is not having a lie down, it's a fight. It's not something static like a word on a T-Shirt, it's an action, an ongoing struggle.

“Every kind of peace throughout the world is under threat right now and we need our champions. We need Bob Marley and the power he summons at the centre of the ring again. We're about to touch gloves with the toughest challenges humanity has ever faced and there's only one way to meet that, with love and in unity.

“We hope this statue will be a reminder of the inspiration we can all be to each other.”

Bob Marley Statue Liverpool Baltic Triangle Levi Tafari Reggae Positive Vibration
Local poet Levi Tafari with the Bob Marley statue in Liverpool

Positive Vibration is the UK's award-winning festival of reggae, and returns to the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool on 10 - 11 September 2021. 

Since its inception in 2016, it has established itself as one of the country's most exciting and eclectic reggae festivals, playing host to internationally renowned bands, legendary sound systems & selectors and some of the brightest new talent. 

This year’s Positive Vibration line-up includes Asian Dub Foundation, Twinkle Brothers, Mad Professor, Hollie Cook, Dawn Penn, Benjamin Zephaniah, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Congo Natty, Channel One, Jah Wobble, Don Letts, plus loads more.

Positive Vibration Baltic Triangle Benjamin Zephaniah The Revolutionary Minds
Benjamin Zephaniah and the Revolutionary Minds perform at this year's PV festival

The official launch of the Bob Marley statue in Liverpool is on Thursday 9 September and will be accompanied by a ceremony conducted by local poet, Levi Tafari, who will reflect on his experiences with Bob Marley’s work, meeting him and being inspired by him. Levi will perform one of his poems in tribute to the occasion. 

The event also marks the opening of the Art of Reggae Exhibition at 92 Degrees Coffee, a collaboration between Positive Vibration and the International Reggae Poster Contest.

Bob Marley Statue Liverpool Baltic Quarter Art Of Reggae 92 Degrees Positive Vibration
The Art of Reggae exhibition at 92 Degrees, Baltic

The exhibition, which supports the Alpha Boys School in Kingston, Jamaica, showcases 100 reggae-inspired posters designed by illustrators and artists from all over the world, including Jamaica, Iran, Ghana, Brazil, Russia, the US, China, the UK and beyond.

As well as raising funds for the Alpha Boys School, the exhibition raises awareness of the fantastic work the school does. Set up in 1880 by the Sisters of Mercy, the school provides education and musical tuition to underprivileged youths in Kingston, Jamaica. 

Its alumni include The Skatalites, Rico Rodriguez, Desmond Dekker, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace and Yellowman, amongst many other great musicians.

Positive Vibration, 10 - 11 September, various venues. Tickets from £38.75 at Skiddle.

Read next: Top things to do in Liverpool and beyond - September 2021

Read again: 'The Baltic Triangle has still got a long way to go' - Stephen Crawley

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