10 Historical Facts About Rebel Salute

In 2018, Rebel Salute celebrated its 25th anniversary.  It has evolved from an annual one-night ‘birthnight bash’ at Fayor’s Entertainment Centre in Mandeville to a globally recognised cultural event, attracting major local sponsors. Here are 10 historic facts about this sensational reggae festival.

  1. Rebel Salute was first staged at Fayor’s Entertainment Centre, Mandeville, on January 14, 1994 as a celebration of Tony Rebel’s birthday (January 15).
  2. Rebel Salute used to be a one-night-only event, but as patronage increased, the organisers saw its potential to pull more people over two days and to promote reggae consciousness and livity.
  3. Rebel Salute’s venue was moved to Brooks Park (also in Manchester), then to St Elizabeth, before settling at its current location at Plantation Cove in St Ann.
  4. The festival employs the slogan ‘For the preservation of reggae,’ and has a pretty clean image. The organisers prohibit the selling and drinking of alcohol and the consumption of all forms of meat – only fish is allowed. There is also a strict policy against profanity and certain types of lyrics.
  5. In 2013, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) did a survey at Rebel Salute, which came up with the result that over 38 per cent of the population was people who flew in for the festival.
  6. In 2013, Rebel Salute was billed as having the highest number of tourists in its audience of any music festival in Jamaica.
  7. According to Rebel Salute’s organiser, Tony Rebel: “The reason for trying to keep a holistic show, a positive contribution to the nation and our people, to maintain a legacy created by great people like Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer I expect that kind of support.”
  8. In 2018, Rebel Salute celebrated 25 years with a show that included Jah Vinci, Third World, Cocoa Tea, Ras Takura, Bushman, Jesse Royal, JC Lodge, Bugle, Agent Sasco, Barrington Levy, Freddie McGregor, Capleton, Sanchez, Oniel Bryan (Elephant Man), Duane Stephenson, and Pinchers, among others.
  9. The Herb Curb was introduced in 2016 as a place where seminars and information on marijuana was shared. Patrons are allowed to carry permitted amounts of marijuana in accordance with Jamaican law, with designated areas for smoking in the Herb Curb.
  10. A staple of the festival is performances from dancehall performers, using their birth names instead of their stage names, giving them an opportunity to show their “good side”, according to Tony Rebel.

Source: Rebel Salute Holds Visitor Record – Organisers Believe Figures Now Higher Than 2013 Survey