Back on the Rock

Reggae Tourist is back. I haven’t been updating the site like I should have but that’s about to change. We managed to squeeze out some time from work (thanks boss!) and we’re off to our beloved Jamaica once more. Just two stops this year: Ochi and Kingston. The actual trip, as usual, was hell: plain delayed, terrible stopover in Santo Domingo but then again: who loves flying? We’re in Ochie now, it’s all good. 

The whole island is abuzz with Rebel Salute, the north coasts biggest Reggae Stage Show. Turn on any radio station and you have a good chance to hear a Tony Rebel song. Here in Ochie, when we meet the locals they immediately assume where here for Salute. In the meantime, we’re dealing with shaky weather. It’s raining a lot and it’s stormy at night. One thing is certain: I have to go out an buy some extra clothing for Salute. It’s gonna be two all nighters and when you get that little dip at 4 am you’re certain to get cold. 

I’m obviously looking forward to Salute. Tony Rebel’s annual two day stage show is one of the major installments in Jamaica’s all year round ‘festival’ (they call it Stage Show over here) season. This year is the 24th staging and since 2013 it’s a two day festival. Part of the festival’s concept is that there is no meat or alcohol sold at the venue. Admission is JMD 5000 at the gate. It’s about more than music, with a great food market and a ‘herb curb’, promoting the economic benefits of marijuana. Jamaica’s minister of justice is one of the guest speakers. The line-up is absolutely impressive. Have a look at the Rebel Salute section of our Annual Reggae Events Section

The odd one out on Saturday’s line up this year seems to be Andre Southerland, aka Popcaan. Part of the clean and healthy cultural concept of Rebel Salute is that artists are expected to perform positive and uplifting songs only. But aiming to bring variety in the line up, Rebel Salute regularly features dancehall artists that are listed under their birth name and perform a set specifically catered for the festival. Movado performed earlier on Rebel Salute as David Brooks, and this year it's ‘poppie’ Andre Southerland's turn to convince the Rebel Salute audience.  

But that’s all for Friday and Saturday. In the mean time, it’s raining so it’s time to rest. We’ll be going to the media launch of Rebel Salute early this evening and tonight there’s a Red Strip Crates party at Fantasy Beach in Priory. Little more.