The 2019 staging of the annual Rebel Salute Festival took place over the weekend and it was, in my opinion, “the preservation of Jamaican culture, music and lifestyle.”
The two-night event, which started out many years ago as a roots, reggae, Rasta stage show, has grown into an international celebration of all the sites, sounds and tastes
As is done every year, Rebel Salute features a wide variety of both emerging and established reggae and dancehall talents and this year was no exception. Some of the standout performances from night one were Jah Bouks, who took the audience back to Africa with a captivating set; Koffee, the young protege of veteran reggae artist Cocoa Tea and Wayne Marshall, who gave us a burst of energy with his performance.
On night two, Chalice Band, Half Pint and Louie Culture took patrons on a musical journey as they all dropped back to back hits and had the crowd singing along with every song. Jesse Royal gave an epic performance! Agent Sasco and Dre Island delivered! All and all, I would say that most, if not all the artists that took to the Rebel Salute stage did their thing.
There were some key moments that must be highlighted however. First is Andrew Tosh being cut off after singing only one song, as well as Bushman not being allowed to finish his set. It seems both incidents occurred due to time constraints, which resulted in Tosh and Bushman being noticeably upset and openly speaking about it on the
mic. Another key moment that I’m sure everyone will be talking about for a while is Queen Ifrica‘s set. Once she stepped on the stage Queen made it known that she was
feeling emotional and proceeded to voice her concerns about a number of things: the negative influence some are having on our youths, the push to normalize homosexuality
and lesbianism in Jamaica, the upcoming political changes slated to take place on the island this year etc.
For us in the audience the show came off as entertaining, educational and just an overall good experience. That being said, it was clear that there were a lot of issues
regarding stage and time management taking place backstage. Regardless what was going on, credit must be given to Tony Rebel and his team for the obvious growth of the
event, which is now a real tourist pull here in Jamaica.