More entertainment zones needed, says Tony Rebel
Tony Rebel performing on January 20's opening night of Rebel Salute. The two-day music festival was held at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in St Ann. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

Conceptualiser of Rebel Salute Tony Rebel said there is a need to develop more entertainment zones across the island. His comments come after a successful staging of Rebel Salute at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in St Ann last weekend.

"From long time we've been saying we need more zones that can deal with entertainment. The Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium is not so active as we would've hoped. I popularised Grizzly's and now everything is going there. It's a nice venue because it's right beside the sea. It has developed nicely where you can park 10,000 cars and it's where the sea, land, and air meet but it would be good to have options," he told the Jamaica Observer.

Last May, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia "Babsy" Grange declared the National Stadium in St Andrew as an entertainment complex, while Port Royal was declared an entertainment zone.

Previously in 2017, Grange had declared Fort Rocky in Port Royal the country's first entertainment zone.

She recently announced that permission was recently granted by the minister with responsibility for lands for her ministry to take possession of the run-down Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St Catherine.

The entertainment minister also disclosed that several other venues were under consideration for designation as entertainment zones. These include the National Arena, Sabina Park, and Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston, as well as The Little Theatre in St Andrew. She said there was also a focus to include entertainment districts that already have a reputation for having activities in multiple venues in a compact geographical area.

Besides Rebel Salute, stage shows Sting and the Intimate Concert were held at Grizzly's Plantation Cove. Sting was held on December 1, while Intimate Concert was held on January 1.

The latter posed hours-long traffic pile-up for miles leading up to the venue. Marcia Griffiths, who was billed for the show, was late for her performance.

Rebel Salute, however, wasn't a casuality of the traffic hiccup.

Tony Rebel said he and his team have long discovered the formuala to negate the traffic build-up. He said he is hoping other promoters will follow suit.

"We have been there for eight years. We understand that the key was to take 10 cars off the road in the minute. We had a lot of attendants in the car park and we had the car park properly lit. They [promoters] have to know the science. A man called Sydney Reid taught us that long ago, so we took that methodology to this new venue in St Ann. They can use the formula. We all can use the formula to get music business better in Jamaica," he said.

Kediesha Perry

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