Jamaica's festival season is about to get a kickstart with the 24th edition of Rebel Salute.
Rebel Salute is one of the top stage shows in Jamaica, known for its focus on roots and conscious music and a healthy lifestyle in general. The venue has great facilities, a craft market and there will be awesome food. No meat though, but there’s great vegetarian fare and seafood. There is a strict no alcohol policy at the venue. As of 2014 it is now a two day event.
The 2016 edition of the festival was granted an exemption for the use of marijuana meaning that no one is subject to prosecution for the possession of marijuana at the event. It got the same exemption for this year's edition. Rebel Salute features a so called 'Herb Curb', a place where recreational, medicinal and sacramental uses for ganja are accommodated for. There are also forums and seminars to further educate on the health and economic benefits of marijuana.
It is held somewhere around January 15 of every year, the birthday of promoter Tony Rebel. The 2017 edition, the 24th staging of the festival, is held on Friday January 13 and Saturday January 14. It all starts at 7 p.m. and it only ends well after the sun comes up the next day. So that's two days in a row if you're up for it.
The venue is a huge lawn right by the seaside at Grizzly's Plantation Cove, Priory in Saint Ann Parish. That’s smack in the north of the island. You can find more info on the Rebel Salute website on how to get there from anywhere on the island.
The line up is simply incredibly impressive. I'll just mention the bigger names. Friday night features the likes of Anthony B, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Fanton Mojah, General Trees, Half Pint, I-wayne, Iba Mahr, the Lone Ranger, Marion Hall, Sister Nancy, Tarrus Riley, The Abyssinians, Tony Rebel, Warrior King and Wayne Wonder. On Saturday you can enjoy performances by Agent Sasco, Bushman, Cocoa Tea, Derrick Morgan, Errol Dunkley, Jesse Royal, Junior Kelly, Lady G, Leroy Sibbles, Moses Davis (Beenie man), Queen Ifrica, Ras Shiloh, Sanches, Spragga Benz, Stranger Cole, Tanto Metro and Devonte and Third World.
Priory is central on the north side of the island. In Priory and along the coast to the west there are affordable hostels in places like Salem, Runaway Bay or Discovery Bay. These are all a 15 minute ride to the venue. A lot of guest houses are not really advertised. Just take a route taxi along the coast road and ask the driver for affordable places to stay. Another option is to head west of Priory and stay in resort town Ocho Rios. As of from this year, camping with tents is accomodated for at the venue. For the opposite experience, check the all inclusive Rebel Salute hotel packages on the site.
THE MEDIA LAUNCH
Reggaetourist was at the media launch yesterday at the luxury Jewell Resort in Ocho Rios. Lots of speakers (the mayor, the police comissioner, the sponsors, etc) attesting the importance of Rebel Salute for tourism and the Jamaican economy but also performances in between: upcoming artist Shakespeare, singer Duane Stephenson, Chevaugn, Chuck Turner (who got the first forward), a very powerful Wickerman and Agent Sasco.
Check out the pics of the media launch.