Fireside Reasoning with Mutabaruka and Ryan Bailey
RB: How long have you been involved in Rebel Salute ?
Muta: I’ve been there since the beginning; from one little place and Brooks Park both in Mandeville, Manchester (Fayors Ent. Center )
RB: What do you remember about the early days of Rebel Salute
Muta: It use to be in a little place , the place did cork (full to capacity) I don’t remember the name of that place. It eventually move from that place to Brooks Park. In Brooks Park it was a tarpaulin covered stage and when rain fall it wet you same way, so the tarpaulin never even make any sense. We also see that grow and eventually it move to St. Elizabeth.
RB: What do you think about the move to St. Elizabeth?
Muta: St. Elizabeth to me is where it made its mark as a legitimate festival; reggae festival, a conscious festival because Rebel decided that he was going to stick to a certain way of doing this festival. 1. Consciousness, 2- no meat , and it work Rebel made the decision to offer a festival in line with Rastafarian consciousness that wasn’t being offered at the time.
RB: What was the feedback for such an unconventional move ?
Muta: It really did work. Rebel made the conscious decision this going to be inline with Rastafari principles and consciousness. The music you would hear on the stage would be conscious reggae music and most festivals never offer that.
RB: In today’s society more and more individuals are pro-healthy eating , but what was the feedback at the time when Rebel made the decision to present a NO MEAT festival?
Muta: Usually when you go to a festival you see everything you want eat: pork, fish, this and that. The park itself was setup in a way with all the natural herbs, foods , natural juices you can find on the premises. I think that’s where it become a world known Rebel Salute Fest
RB: How significant is Rebel Salute to the contribution of the Jamaican culture and the wider society at large?
Muta: More now than before it needs to stay, it is very difficult to go to a show these days and see it inline with how Reggae is supposed to be and how the ground is to be set up. Rebel Salute shows the the Jamaican culture and the manifestation of Rasta , it shows that Rastafari is the thing that propels Reggae music internationally.
RB: How do foresee Rebel Salute for another 30 years and beyond?
Muta: We give thanks that Rebel Salute is still here and that Rebel keep inline with the conscious effort same way. I now see artistes that don’t usually do conscious lyrics now make an effort to do conscious because at Rebel Salute that is a must!!
Muta: We Salute Rebel Salute, Give thanks!