Fri | Dec 14, 2018

'More than just a stage show' - Rebel Salute promises awesome 25

Published:Friday | November 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Tony Rebel
Queen Ifrica

As the organisers of Rebel Salute get ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary, conceptualiser of the annual event, Tony Rebel, says he wants patrons to walk away from the next staging having experienced more than just a stage show.

"The music, of course, is the main reason we do this, but what we want people to understand is that Rebel Salute is an experience. We want when people come they visit the Herb Curb, where we display different herbs and educate people about them so they understand the therapeutic side to herbs, the sacramental side, and the economic side," Tony Rebel told The Gleaner.

Rebel Salute was launched at the Milk River Restaurant and Lounge in Brooklyn, New York last Thursday. At the launch, Rebel Salute was presented with a declaration honouring its 25th anniversary. The declaration was presented by MC Irwin Claire on behalf of the New York Senate.

Rebel Salute 2018 will take place on Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Grizzly's Plantation Cove in St Ann.

"We want people to check out our Arts Village where we display some of the best craft items out of Jamaica. We want them to check out our food court, we want them to check out the beach close to the venue, just everything. We want them to leave feeling like they experienced all of Jamaica over the two nights, and not just a show where they got to see some of their favourite artistes perform."


Lack of Sponsorship


Tony Rebel said his team has managed to keep the show going for the 25 years despite not being awash with sponsorship.

"We give thanks to those who have helped us for the past few years because although sponsorship could be more, we cannot act like we did it on our own," he said "In terms of the finances, our team gathers all we have and use all our resources to do what we need to do. When things don't look too good, it's the patrons that force me to go on. Every year, they request and look forward to the show, so we cannot disappoint them. I go by the slogan that the show, must go on, no matter what and it must go on for the people," Tony Rebel said.

Rebel Salute last year received one of Jamaica's most prestigious awards The Gleaner's Honour Award for Entertainment for its success as a signature Jamaican entertainment event and its contribution to the enhancement of Brand Jamaica and local music.

"People, especially the locals, need to come and experience Rebel Salute for themselves. Don't just hear about how wonderful it is from the tourists who fly to Jamaica for the show. Don't let Rebel Salute be like a Bob Marley to you where people abroad have to tell you how great something is when it's right in front of you for you to experience," he said.

"We want more people to come to see what Jamaica has to offer with this product. Jamaica has maybe three million people, and most people will tell you that they hear about Rebel Salute, but they've never been to the festival."