The 27th staging of Jamaica’s biggest culture festival, Rebel Salute, has come and gone, leaving lots of positive vibes still lingering in the air. Love him or hate him, Tony Rebel (along with his team) must be credited for building what has become one of the island’s most anticipated annual event.
Much like past stagings, this year was an undeniable success! We saw stellar performances by both established and emerging reggae and dancehall acts, and experienced an atmosphere of love and togetherness.
Some of the best performers this year were Chavaugn, who did a good early set on night one. Papa Michigan (from the duo Michigan and Smiley) came with an energy that completely lift the vibes and got everyone going. Flourgon, who just won millions of dollars in a settlement from American artist Miley Cyrus, was clearly in a good mood and it showed in his performance.
For the first time this year, the organizers included a comedy segment, and featured popular comedian Johnny (from Lime Tree Lane). He had the crowd in stitches! The man himself, Tony Rebel, did a good set and left the people dancing to “if Jah is by my side.” Leroy Sibbles was amazing. He didn’t talk much, he just delivered hits after hits and had the whole crowd dancing and singing along.
On night two, Jack Radics came out with a sweet energy and got the crowd going with his powerful voice. Rain started while Queen Ifrica was delivering what feels like one of her best performances at Rebel Salute ever. We are accustomed to her lecturing her audiences, but this year she did none of that. No, this year was all about the music.
Richie spice followed Ifrica and kept the same musical energy flowing. George Nooks did a solid set and even brought the people to church in the pouring rain. In my opinion, the man of the night was Louie Culture. He came on at approximately 4 AM, and although the rain was still falling it felt like he brought the sunshine in his all white outfit. Louie did what he’s known to do, he gave an excellent performance and got a much deserved encore! The people did not want him to leave the stage.
Mikey Spice, who clearly came out to sing for the ladies, gave out roses to a select few. Beenie Man showed us why he is still the king of the dancehall. He had the crowd in a frenzy. Anthony B, though his set was cut short due to time restrictions, gave a great performance. The people clearly wanted more but the event had to come to an end.
As mentioned before, Rebel Salute is now one of Jamaica’s treasures. We eagerly await the next staging.