NEXT month’s staging of Rebel Salute will see changes in venue, format, and the addition of a family expo.
According to conceptualiser Tony Rebel, the 20th staging of his annual roots bash will, for the first time, be over two days (January 18-19) at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann. “It will be called Rebel Salute Health and Cultural Family Expo,” Rebel told the Sunday Observer. According to Tony Rebel, the new venue is not only central for fans but at little over 120 hectares, more spacious than its previous home, the Port Kaiser Sports Club in St Elizabeth.
The move to St Ann, he noted, is strategic.
“There are over 9,000 hotels and guest rooms in Ocho Rios and its surroundings, so those patrons who are tired will have the option of staying over for both nights,” he said.
Rebel says he decided to expand the show to two days based on results of a survey conducted by his production team and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
“Rebel Salute happens at a time when the winter tourist season is at its peak and St Ann is known to attract tourists. This will be a great way to sell our Jamaican product... reggae music,” he said.
Over 40 dancehall/reggae acts are scheduled to perform and Tony Rebel believes the two-day format will ensure each artiste ample stage time.
The Richmond Estate is the show’s fourth home. Prior to Port Kaiser, it was held at Fayor’s Entertainment Centre and Brooks Park, both in Rebel’s home parish of Manchester.
Rebel Salute 2013 will be staged under the theme ‘ The Preservation of Reggae Music’ and features Sizzla Kalonji, Queen Ifrica, Luciano, Marcia Griffiths, Romain Virgo, and Tarrus Riley. On opening day, activities include a health and cultural expo which comprises a children’s village, cook-off, indigenous foods and free health checks. Other events previously staged at the Richmond Estate venue include Reggae Sunsplash in 2006, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 party and Jamaica Curry Festival.