Rebel salutes festivalMonday, January 18, 2016
By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Artiste and promoter Tony Rebel is still basking in the success of his two-day reggae festival, Rebel Salute, which was held at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann, on the weekend.
He said from all indicators, the numbers for both nights reflected an increase over previous years, and identified the high point as being the performance by reggae singer Beres Hammond on night two of the event. But his highest praise went to the Herb Curb — an exposition and symposium on ganja.
"The Herb Curb was a hit. We are so pleased with the way it all turned out. It was educational and truly lived up to the highest standards. I was always insisting that we had to present this in a manner which benefits what we are trying to portray. We had to get rid of the stigma that this would just be an area for people to smoke and behave like idiots. What we presented was an organised format where persons could also learn how best to benefit medicinally, spiritually and economically from the weed. With the recent changes to the laws and decriminalisation, we are now playing catch up with other places and, therefore, we have to know what we are doing and fast. The Herb Curb in coming years will be a feature of Rebel Salute, once we get the exemption from the Government," Tony rebel told the
Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Rebel Salute became the second event to be granted exemption under the Amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Meanwhile, Tony Rebel is aware of the comments regarding the length of the show and the long list of acts performing each night. He said all options were on the table, as he and his team moved forward with plans for 2017, but noted that the comments had to be viewed within a context.
"I always wanted Rebel Salute to go until morning. The thing is a number of the persons who attend the festival depend on public support and are not staying in hotels. So, at daybreak, it is safer for them to make their way back home by public transport. That feature will remain. However, the plan for Friday night was to end at 6:00 am and we were there until 9:00. This was due to a number of reasons which are not uncommon in the event planning and entertainment business. As it relates to the number of acts, Rebel Salute has built up such a name and reputation over the years that there are times you just cannot escape an extended list of artistes who end up on the roster. But what we have to do is ensure a tighter production in the coming years to meet our deadline."
Tony Rebel said, with the success of the festival as a two-day event, there are calls for an extension to three or more days, but he is not quite ready for that just yet.
"Rebel Salute started as a one-night festival then moved to two night. I hear the call for us to move to a week, but I want to ensure that we have the execution of the two nights down perfect before moving on. The possibility exists, but right now, I want to perfect this format first," he said.
The 2016 staging of the festival saw the likes of Sanchez, Beres Hammond, David Brooks aka Mavado, Luciano, Everton Blender, LUST, Kabaka Pyramid, and other acts taking to the stage.
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