In an interview with Loop Jamaica’s reporter Job Nelson, Rebel shot down suggestions that likened the incident on Friday night, when Tarrus Riley went on stage during Fantan Mojah’s performance, to that of last year when Mavado demanded to take to the stage earlier than his scheduled time.
Rebel said, “what happened (on Friday) that has nothing to do with the line up. It happened to be how sometimes an artiste feels and when they want to go on. Like a man like Capleton who want to go on before day light, because he wants to see his lighters (flashing in the crowd).”
According to Rebel, on Friday, Riley wanted to go on at 3:00 am but, after a discussion between himself and the artiste, they agreed on 5:30 am. He said, however, because of heavy winds and rains during the day, the rigs for the stage were twisted and had to be fixed to prevent what could turn into a “bad situation”.
He said, “so we lost a lot of time and because the show didn’t get to start on time, because of those natural causes that we can’t help, some people who were scheduled to perform at a particular time, ended up down a little later.”
Rebel said what triggered the incident was that Riley’s music manager, Dean Fraser, wanted to go on stage after Fantan Mojah, which couldn’t be facilitated because I-Wayne was scheduled to follow and they both share the same band.
He said that it would have meant that, after Fantan Mojah had completed his set, there would have to be a band change for Riley and then the same band that was just taken off would have to go back on for I-Wayne.
He said the suggestion was made to Riley and his team that I-Wayne would still follow Mojah, but he would have been asked to cut his performance a “a little short”.
He said things escalated when angry words were expressed between Riley and closing act Anthony B, although he failed to give the details of what caused that to happen.
In separating the incident last year, Rebel explained that Mavado just didn’t want to perform at daybreak as he didn’t understand the concept and the audience of Rebel Salute.
“Mavado didn’t know that these people like want this show go until daylight. If you noticed, he was asking to be on stage and when he went out he looked at me and said ‘elder mi neva know seh a suh dem people yah duh man. Dem nah guh home’, and the man who took the show is the man who came on after Mavado, Half Pint.
“Rebel Salute is a unique show. A lot of times some people look at me and say, ‘we want the show to stop 5:00 o’clock’ and I stop it and it is pure cussing. All the vendors cuss that they don’t get to sell their products, because some make wonderful breakfast and a lot of people who have to take bus and walk, don’t want that, because it jeopardises them.
“So it is something that has been going on 24 years and it is something that we have been back and forth with. So we try to make it go until morning,” Rebel said.