Tribute to the economy – Jamaica Observer

rebel tony

The organizer of the annual Rebel Salute, Tony Rebel, says the event provides economic benefits not only to the man on the street, but also to tourism, Jamaica’s biggest earner of hard currency.

The two-day festival, first held in 1994 to celebrate Rebel’s birthday, is scheduled for January 20-21 at Plantation Cove, St Ann. He returns after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

“I’m proud to know that I can have an event that contributes to the GDP [gross domestic product] from Jamaica. I see bus drivers, taxi drivers, hairdressers asking me if Rebel Salute fits. Even the hotel people reached out, even though we would need more hotel rooms. Hotels are full as people come for the event. Airbnbs are also profiting from the event,” Rebel revealed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

Originally staged at Fayors Entertainment Center in Mandeville, Rebel Salute moved to Brooks Park (also in Manchester) before heading to Kaiser Sports Club in St Elizabeth.

Since 2013, Rebel Salute has settled in Priory, St Ann, in the heart of tourist country. It attracts visitors from major reggae markets in Europe, North America and Japan, as well as booking agents and a variety of vendors.

Rebel, who is known for his hit songs such as Jah by my side, fresh vegetable, Armor, talkative talkative, nazarene vow, Sweet Jamaica, and Just friendssaid the show had stretched to two days due to overwhelming requests from customers and performers.

“When we went to St Elizabeth, the list of artists started to grow. I use my emotions when it comes to selecting artists for the show. When we were done, we did a poll, and 100% of those we spoke to said we should keep it over two days. We moved to St Ann where we had more parking lots, more hotel rooms and even camping facilities,” Rebel said.

This year’s lineup is impressive. Friday Night (January 20) will see Nation Boss, Rodney Price (aka Bounty Killer), Bling Dawg, Rytikal, Lady G, Heavyweight Rockaz, Pluto Shervington, Big Mountain, Louie Culture, Kabaka Pyramid, Papa Michigan, Horace Andy, Glen Washington, Duane Stephenson, Tony Rebel and Dennis Walks, among others.

Saturday’s lineup includes Johnny Clarke, Errol Dunkley, Capleton, Leroy Gibbons, Josey Wales, Echo Minott, Kumar Fyah, Moses Davis (aka Beenie Man), I Wayne, I-Octane, Leroy Sibbles, Chezidek, Sanchez, Stonebwoy, Luciano , and Timoy Jones (aka Teejay).

Said Rebel, “At this year’s event, you can expect what is always expected: a wide range of edutainment entertainment to satisfy your musical needs. We will have indigenous Jamaican merchandise and artwork for sale, the Herb Curb to educate people about the therapeutic, medicinal and economic side of the herb [ganja] and we have great programming.”

Tony Rebel was one of the artists who helped transform dancehall music from “slackness” to consciousness in the 1990s. As he did then, he hopes to leave a legacy with his show.

“Something people can admire is that Rebel Salute could be done without slacking off, vulgarity, alcohol or meat. I would like Rebel Salute to continue for generations, and that’s why I brought my kids to help organize the event.

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