No decision yet on Rebel Salute


No decision yet on Rebel Salute

Observer senior reporter

Thursday, October 15, 2020

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“Wait, see and listen.” That's the approach being taken by reggae singer and event promoter Tony Rebel regarding the 2021 staging of Rebel Salute, his annual two-day music festival traditionally held in January to coincide with his birthday.

In light of the current global health crisis due to the novel coronavirus and the fallout in almost every facet of life including entertainment, the promoter told the Jamaica Observer that he is in no position to make a definitive statement as to whether or not the popular event will be held come next year. The 2020 version was staged at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann, just ahead of the global lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The truth is we just have to sit and wait. That is the nature of COVID-19. We have to wait to see what is happening here in Jamaica and what our local authorities have to say; we also have to look at what is happening overseas as a large portion of our audience comes from overseas. We have to take everything into consideration when we make a decision,” Tony Rebel shared.

Earlier this year, Reggae Sumfest, the island's other major reggae festival, had to abort the physical hosting of the event and resorted to a virtual staging of the popular show, broadcasting performances from some of reggae's and dancehall's top acts over two nights. According to Tony Rebel, the options are wide open regarding the format which Rebel Salute 2021 could take.

“Going virtual is not really anything new for us. For a number of years, we have been facilitating live streaming of the event for free. So a virtual staging is all in the mix, so we are just waiting to see what the coming months have in store then we will take a decision as to what is the best fit for the 2021 version of Rebel Salute,” he said.

Tony Rebel is confident that given the machinery that he has in place, his team will be able to pull off the event irrespective of format, whether physical or virtual, once a decision is taken.

“Right now Rebel Salute is like dough. We have put everything together like you would mix your flour. It had been kneaded and it is now resting in the fridge, and when we are ready to make the dumplings we can just take it out and fry. That's how we are. All is set and once we have a green light, we're good to go.”

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