OUTSPOKEN poet/broadcaster Mutabaruka has lauded deejay Tony Rebel for steadfastly promoting positive reggae through his annual Rebel Salute show.
Speaking at last Thursday's launch of the January 18-19 show at the Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Mutabaruka took the media to task for much of the negatives in the Jamaican society, which includes music.
"Mi glad fi see Tony Rebel a use a reggae show to project the importance of disease prevention. We a ask the media fi reverse the negativity. Politicians alone can't do it," he noted.
"Just like how Rebel keep a show with cultural artistes wey a sey something positive, we need the concerted effort of everybody. The music has perpetuated a certain decadence inna di society. A di deejay dem mek the gay thing get so popular. Wi a call pon di media fi reverse it. We need programme pon TV that instil a different attitude," Muta added.
Patrons attending the 20th Rebel Salute will experience a a number of firsts. The event has a new home, Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann.
The conscious showcase will also be held over two days, and will includes a health and wellness family expo offering an array of lifestyle information and services.
Each day has approximately 25 acts, from veteran mento group the Jolly Boys to roots-reggae singer Sizzla as well as Di Blueprint, winner of the recent Global Battle of the Bands competition in London.
Opening night features British reggae group Aswad, Luciano, Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Rootz Underground, Etana, Marcia Griffiths, Hempress Sativa, Kabaka Pyramid, No-Maddz, Izinigaion, Shinehead, Louie Culture, Leroy Gibbons, Errol Dunkley, Carlton Livingston, Courtney Melody, Hopeton James, General Trees, Professor Nuts, Lone Ranger, and Little John.
The closing night's attractions are Queen Ifrica, I-Octane, Busy Signal, Richie Spice, Iba Mahr, I-Wayne, Raging Fyah, Chezidek, Lady G, Singing Melody, the Mighty Diamonds, Tony Tuff, Pablo Moses, the Abyssinians, Ernie Smith and Pluto Shervington, Prezident Brown, Sizzla, Ras Shiloh, Cali P and the Jolly Boys.
The relocation of Rebel Salute from Port Kaiser Sports Club in St Elizabeth after 13 years, to St Ann, is a strategic one.
"This show is being held against the background of a continued resurgence of Jamaica's tourism sector despite harsh global economic conditions," Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr Wykeham McNeill said.
According to Tony Rebel, moving to St Ann was in the best interest of patrons.
"Why we move is about growth and development. It's more than just a concert," he said.