Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by El Puru—
Jamaica’s top reggae festival, Rebel Salute isn’t just about the music. Tony Rebel’s annual conclave—held this year on Jan. 17 and 18 at Richmond Estate in Saint Ann’s Bay, near Ocho Rios— encourages clean and healthy living through several distinctive policies and guidelines. Artists (which this year included Damian Marley, Capleton, I-Wayne, Jah Cure, Bunny Wailer and Bounty Killer, billed as Rodney Price) are directed to perform strictly positive lyrics with no profanity, while vendors offer strictly vegetarian food (with the exception of fish), and don’t sell alcohol.
The product of these policies is an environment that’s perhaps as appropriate for children and seniors as the twenty- and thirty-somethings who typically predominate at music festivals. It’s also a place to expand your palate with traditional and innovative Jamaican food you might not find elsewhere.
Here’s a look behind the scenes at this year’s edition, from faces in the crowd to notable names backstage, and the vendors who bring Rebel Salute its distinctive flavor. (For pics from the stage, see our “Impressions: Live at Rebel Salute” feature here.)
Click here to launch the photo gallery.