Thirty years after its first staging, organiser of the Rebel Salute music festival Tony Rebel says the event has achieved its objectives.
The artiste and organiser made the disclosure in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Thursday night at the event’s launch which was held in the gardens at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
“I’ve achieved more than the objectives. I have exceeded that. We have made so many artistes big, so many have gotten their big break on the Rebel Salute stage, and I’m happy for that. A lot of vendors have made money selling at the event, the hotels have also done well; so, pretty much, I have contributed to the over GDP [gross domestic product] of this country. I’ve played my part and I’m happy that I am able to do that,” said Tony Rebel.
He said the support of the patrons has kept Rebel Salute going through the years.
“It’s the people who have kept this going, that’s why it’s dubbed the people’s show. The people always support mi. With a good team and the know-how of keeping the show going, and the people, that is the main thing,” Tony Rebel reasoned.
Tony Rebel (real name Patrick Barrett) said he never anticipated that Rebel Salute would have lasted as long as it has.
“No, I never expected it. I was signed to Columbia Records at the time and I was a big artiste with many hit songs. My friends encouraged me to do a birthday party, but I didn’t want it to become the typical birthday party. I wanted it to be something different, something to reflect me. I didn’t want any meat being sold there, and I didn’t want any artiste who performed derogatory lyrics,” said Tony Rebel.
He said the show has grown stronger and stronger over the years and mentioned some of the high points and memorable moments of the event.
“The first one that we had at Fayors in Mandeville was mystical. Garnet Silk was on a hiatus at the time and I asked him to perform. We had about 8,000 people inside the venue. The next year we had around 50,000 people at Brooks Park. In 2004, we took a chance on Junior Byles and he was on the stage for about 5 minutes just standing there, and when he started to perform, there were people in the audience who started to cry. The next year, Jimmy Cliff was outstanding, he performed for more than two hours. In 2006 we had Burning Spear, Jr Gong, Stephen Marley, and Ini Kamoze. Every Rebel Salute is like my child and I love all of them,” Tony Rebel told the Observer.
Rebel Salute will be held on January 19 and 20 at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann.
Sean Paul, Anthony B, Capleton, and Sanchez are among the headliners.
“You can expect the unexpected at Rebel Salute. Expect to have your musical needs satisfied. We have 30 artistes performing over two days. That’s 15 artistes each night, so each artiste can get to express themselves musically,” said Tony Rebel.
Aside from the performances, there will be a dub plate showcase between River Nile Crocodile and Sky Juice.