To begin the word that would come to mind to describe the event is "AMAZING."
Island Beats Magazine was honored to be privileged with media accreditation to the 26th Rebel Salute and as we made the 4 hour journey to St Anne's Bay in Jamaica we could not even anticipate what would be awaiting us to uncover.
Before we unleash the two day Rebel Salute phenomena we want to share with you one of the most important aspect of travels which is to make sure that you always find a home away from home and we did truly find out home away from home at Wilson's En Suite way up in the hill's on Lime Hall Road.
After Island Beats unpacked and settled into our home away from home we ventured out into Saint Anne's Bay and went to visit the infamous Marcus Mosiah Garvey statue located inside the Saint Anne's Library park.
The statue stood tall and luminous in the park it was wonderful to see that the statue of one of our black legends stood as a reminder of those who fought for freedom and equality for the current generation.
As we progressed through the town you could feel the anticipation and the high levels of excitement through out Saint Anne extending to Ochi Rios about Rebel Salute.
The cooking, the traffic the energy about the festival was amazing.
Island Beats cruised through Ochi Rios visiting Island Village and passing by Margaritaville, Mystic Mountain, and Dunn's River Falls.
We were also able to meet for the first time emerging conscious reggae artist Pac Q who is just as amazing off the mic as he is on the mic.
We then proceeded to Priory Saint Anne's to retrieve our media passes and met two of the most amazing security guards who were kind and courteous and gave Island Beats a comfortable place to sit in the shade while we waited for our passes to be organized.
After our mini tour of Saint Anne's Bay and Ochi Rios, and seeing the festival grounds prepare for the big event we then went to prepare our own selves for the grand Rebel Salute...........
No one passed by with out saying bless or greetings.
Island Beats was able to greet the Rebel himself Tony Rebel riding on a go cart with his black hoodie to remain incognito.
Although riding incognito Tony Rebel still greeted us as we made our way to the main action.
The stage was bright and lit up with the colors of reggae, Rasta, and, Jamaica and the first performance we took in was Mr. Easy who had the crowd locked down and especially when he sang one of his biggest tracks "She's Driving Me Crazy."
We asked Mr Easy what Rebel Salute meant to him and he spoke with a great deal of pride as he responded to tell us that Rebel Salute meant the preserving of reggae dance hall for years to come as well gave an honor to Tony Rebel for keeping the movement alive for such a long time. Additionally Mr Easy expressed that his wish was for Rebel Salute to last for a life time for generations to come.
We also ran into Mutabaruka who was the Master of Ceremony at the festival and Island Beats confirmed with him that he was indeed the character Shongo from the unforgettable movie Sankofa.
Afterwards we were able to take in Dawn Penn legendary Dawn Penn known mainly for her hit track "No, No, No."
We were able to speak with Ms Penn whose passion for Rebel Salute was so intense that she could barely find the worlds to describe what Rebel Salute meant to her.
During the intervals Island Beats was happy to run into several other familiar media houses such as Empress Tashai from One Love Radio on 106.5 FM in Connecticut. As well we met Sandy who we recognized from Rototom Sunsplash 2018 who works for Shelly's One Love Red Carpet and Jenny Jenny from Irie FM.
It was wonderful to mingle with some of the other media who traveled from near and far to cover and celebrate Rebel Salute 2019.
The movement of Rebel Salute has reached the four corners of the Earth that the Prime Minister of Barbados attended and mixed right in with the throng of attendee's it was a special moment for Jamaica to welcome the Prime Minister from another Island of the Caribbean.
By this time the crowd readily recieved the Might Diamonds and even the security sang along as they performed their ever lasting track "Have Mercy" to the masses.
Island Beats also had a short yet sweet chat with the group as they posed for the camera brandishing the latest copy of Island Beats Magazine.
At the time of Koffi's performance Island Beats was inside the media tent however based on the response from the crowd and the excitement as she entered into the media tent you could see that she stole the show.
It was just as amazing to see two familiar faces from Toronto and equally a pleasure to take in Anthony Malvo and his daughter Tiffani Malvo who held firm on the stage.
Another familiar face was Sandra Sylburn from Toronto as well who did not think twice to show Island Beats maximum love as always.
The performance by Wayne Marshall was also second to none and the last song of his performance he sang was "Glory To God" at that moment not one soul in the crowd was not singing along it was a beautiful moment.
When Tony Rebel took the stage it was an ALL EYES ON ME type of moment especially when he gave a heart wrenching performance of "Sweet Jamaica."
It was a nice touch for Rebel Salute to serve coffee on the house located between the stage and the media tent.
Day one of the festival that lasted into the morning hours was a great way to warm up the massive for the final night which will tell you all about on the following page.