Rebel Salute principal Tony Rebel is satisfied with the recently concluded 27th staging of the festival at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann.
His team embarked on remedying a long-time complaint of prolonged show hours and managed to send patrons home three hours earlier than in previous years.
“We hear the cry of the people that it went too long, and it’s the people’s show, they speak, we listen,” Rebel told BUZZ.
“I think we have done a good job this year in terms of cutting down the amount of artistes and having less talking. It’s a serious mathematical job we did enuh, we worked it all out; how much time each person gets, miscellaneous, the time we have for the MC, how long this set has to go… We even put time for in case someone goes over. For Friday’s show, we were on time right up until Steel Pulse came. Something happened to some of the equipment and that caused that band change to take long.”
See highlights from Night 1 of Rebel Salute in the gallery below.
The final night was scheduled to end at 6:37 a.m., but went on for more than an additional hour. This was still earlier than the festival’s usual 10 to 11 a.m. end time. Plus, Rebel said he was not as concerned with exceeding the time for the second day.
“It’s not so detrimental because people do not have to go to work on Sunday, and we won’t have to prepare for another day,” he said.
“My team had some glitches, but that is internal. We presented the best show to the people, and even when you present the show things may still happen at the beginning or on the day. For instance, we may need some boxes and nobody remembers the boxes so we have to do it on the day, but it don’t mean that it never happened. So only the team knows about those glitches that arise, but such is life.”
This year’s showcase featured new elements like a comedy special featuring Christopher ‘Johnny’ Daley and a soundclash segment with Jack Scorpio and Dynamq Sound. Though both proved successful, Rebel said integrating the comedy was more of a risk than the clash.
“Comedy was always in dancehall, but it’s just that it hasn’t been there for a long time, so that made it a risk,” he said. “With Johnny, just watching him growing up and seeing how he handles himself I knew he could do it.”
Overall festival experience
Another highlight was the return of Ugandan singer/politician Bobi Wine, who has been banned from having shows in his country because of his bid for presidency.
“It was good to bring him back and have us see him in that capacity and him see us too, cause he can’t speak in his country like that,” said Rebel.
See highlights from Night 2 of Rebel Salute in the gallery below.
As for the overall festival experience, the Fresh Vegetable singer hopes patrons, new and returning, will have experienced the best offerings of Jamaica through the Rebel Salute brand.
“We want them to know that what they have seen on stage and off stage in the venue is a big part of our indigenous culture,” he said. “We want people to know that this is what Jamaica is all about and not just the negatives you hear through media or watch online. We want to display the healthy aspects of our country and not only display it so people can see it. But we really want it to be great how it is, cause I don’t think that it is not. We want it to continue to be great.”