Rebel salutes return of local shows
Tony Rebel

TONY Rebel, conceptualiser of two-day festival Rebel Salute, says he is not perturbed by Sting's return to the entertainment calender. In fact, he says welcomes it, albeit three weeks before his. Both are scheduled for Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann.

Sting returns on December 26 after a seven-year absence while Rebel Salute is slated for January 20 and 21 after a one-year break due to COVID-19.

According to Tony Rebel, shows can co-exist due to their differing core offerings.

"Jamaica is the Mecca of reggae music. Here is where it started so to have reggae shows, it's okay, it's just fine. In California, France, and Italy you have whole heap ah reggae show so why not in Jamaica too? I'm not worried 'cause everybody bring a different energy," he told the Jamaica Observer.

The two-day Rebel Salute event generally coincides with the reggae singer's birthday.

Tony Rebel shied away from disclosing details about the extent of the line-up but admitted that American reggae band Big Mountain will be performing.

"They have a big following so we're giving them an opportunity," he said.

The California-based band is renowned for its remake of Peter Frampton's Baby, I Love Your Way, which became a top 10 hit single in the US in early 1994, reaching number six on the US Billboard Hot 100.

In the meantime, Tony Rebel says his team has been pulling out all the stops to enhance patrons' experience next year.

"We are improving on the patrons' entrance, the herb curb, arts village — want it to be more upfront — and the food court. We want it better for the patrons," he said.

Commencing in 1994, the festival's stage has seen performances by some of the biggest names in reggae and became an incubator for some young and little-known acts who would later grow to acclaim in music.

Artistes such as Garnett Silk, Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Third World, Beres Hammond, a young Chronixx, and Koffee have all performed at the festival.

Rebel Salute was first held at the Fayor's Entertainment Centre in Mandeville, Manchester, in 1994. It then moved to Brook's Park, also in that town, then on to the Port Kaiser Sports Club in St Elizabeth before settling at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann, since 2013.

Last year's virtual edition featured the likes of Chuck Fenda, Richie Spice, Sizzla, and Capleton.

California reggae band Big Mountain is booked for Rebel Salute. (Photo: Observer file)
Kediesha Perry

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