Rebel Salute is one of the top stage shows in Jamaica, known for its focus on roots and conscious music. Apart from its superb line-up in this subgenre it also features top dancehall artists who are programmed under their birth name rather than their stage name.
Rebel Salute has excellent facilities and great 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.
For the first time, 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. In the mean time, Jamaica has seen a decriminilisation of the weed, providing more ease of mind for visitors. 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 2020 edition, the 27th staging of the festival, will be held on Friday January 17 and Saturday January 18. It all starts at about 7 p.m. and it only ends well after the sun comes up Sunday morning. 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.
There is no info yet on the line-up for the 2020 edition but check out some of the highlights of the impressive 2019 line-up.
Friday night : Capleton, Chezidek, Chuck Fender, Dawn Penn, Junior Kelly, Koffee, Luciano, Mighty Diamonds, Mykal Rose, Ras Shiloh, Terry Ganzie, Wayne Marshall, Tony Rebel, The Wailers, Wayne Wonder and many more
Saturday night: Agent Sasco, Bushman, Chi Ching, Dre Island, Echo Minott, Fantan Mojah, Half Pint, Horace Andy, Jah Cure, Jessey Royal, Ken Boothe, Mr Vegas, Nesbeth, Queen Ifrica, Rodney Price, Turbulance, Yellow Man
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. As to Airbnb, there are certainly some options not far from the venue so you can check those out. Another option is to head west of Priory and stay in resort town Ocho Rios.
There is also a camping area at the venue itself where you can put up your own tent. If you want the full hotel experience with Jamaican breakfast you should check out the special Rebel Salute Hotel deals.
Rebel Salute has indeed a no-alcohol policy. So if it's your thing, have a drink before you go in and know it will be your last one for that evening.
Ticket prices are JMD 5500 presold or JMD 6000 at the gate. VIP tickets are JMD 10 000.