Twenty-seven years ago, Rebel Salute was birthed as a one-night event in Brooks Park, Mandeville, and featured artistes like Marcia Griffiths, Garnet Silk and Everton Blender.
The event, which also celebrated singer Tony Rebel’s birthday, was inspired by a birthday bash held for Silk the year prior. Today, the show stands resolute as a two-day festival and has provided an international platform for the exposure and celebration of Jamaican music, roots and Rastafari culture and clean entertainment.
This year’s staging will unfold at its Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, St Ann, base, over a period of two nights, January 17 and 18.
Friday’s show will feature a bevy of reggae’s finest, including legendary performers Toots and the Maytals, reggae fusion band Steel Pulse and the show’s principal, Rebel himself.
Crooners Sanchez, Leroy Sibbles, Singing Melody and Terry Linen will also grace the stage, as well as return Ugandan act, Bobi Wine. Gospel singer Jermaine Edwards is also billed to perform, balanced by dancer-cum-deejay Chi Ching Ching. Other artistes rostered for night one include Flourgon, General Trees, Chevaughn and Heavyweight Rockaz.
The meat and alcohol-free event continues on Saturday with veteran singers Tony Tuff, Errol Dunkley, Benjy Myaz and Louie Culture. Reggae favourites Queen Ifrica and Richie Spice are also slated for the final night, as well as dancehall artistes Beenie Man and I-Octane. St Thomas native Chronic Law will perform as Akeem Campbell. I-Wayne, Lady G, Jesse Royal, Mortimer and George Nooks are also part of the line-up.
The enclosed ‘Herb Curb’ area returns and will cater to marijuana enthusiasts, and the festival will also feature an hour of comedy on both nights, rounded off by a dubplate session with a Sudanese sound system and revered sound system operator Jack Scorpio.