The anticipated return of Sting was marred by clashes between the entourages of several young artists and resulted in the show ending prematurely, with many of the much later performances cut short at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St. Ann.
Many fans were disappointed that the show was cut short, but videos and accounts shared online by eventgoers showed the police valiantly trying to contain the crowd as chaos erupted.
It appears that unknown persons stormed the stage. In one video showing the events backstage, persons can be seen jumping over the fence and running onto the stage. The police are also seen clashing with some of the men. In several instances, men can be seen pinned down by police officers while other officers had their guns drawn and batons at the ready to keep the rowdy eventgoers in line.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, has not released a statement on the events that took place, but several artists who were scheduled to clash failed to hit the stage. These include Jahshii, Valiant, Skeng, and others.
Among those who were able to perform were dancehall new faces Malie Don and Polo YG, whose performances didn’t seem to meet the mark for dancehall fans that commented on the lack of performance from both as they descended into a cuss out on stage rather than a lyrical battle.
Earlier in the night, headliners Queenie and Amari also came face to face, but both women for just one known track each also turned the stage into a drama-filled WWE brawl.
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In the video, aspiring dancehall artist Queenie attempts to bring her lyrical skills to the stage while performing her son “Double Tap” and throws words at Amari, who wants to “tump her back,” which sets off Amari as she curses out Queenie and tries to snatch her clothes and hair. Before long, legs were flinging, and Amari’s red wig sailed through the air while Queenie stuck to her assignment as she continued her underwhelming performance.
Queenie was later determined the winner of their clash.
Valiant, who did not get to perform his entire set, was later seen in the parking lot on top of a car performing for his fans.
In a statement to the Gleaner, he expressed disappointment at the show’s organization.
“We’re entertainers so we don’t really watch wha gwan wid the corruption and thing so we find ways to entertain the people dem same way cause a dat we get pay fi do…so we just a stay focused and entertain through any little obstacle, any little war or thing like that. Mi never get fi fully perform for mi people dem the way mi want fi perform and the new song them for 2023 but mi deh yah still a do it,” Valiant said.
On Instagram, he also wrote, “Sting was a big unorganized and unprofessional show.”
A disappointed Jashii was also seen interacting with fans in the parking lot and obliged fans for photo ops. He also received support from the police, who hailed him.
Although the show ended in chaos, performances from Pamputtae with “short man” seemed to entertain the crowd. Etana, Fanton Mojah, Christopher Martin, Jada Kingdom, Shane-O, and Vanessa Bling entertained fans incident free.
In the meantime, many of the dancehall veterans were not pleased with the show. Mr. Vegas called the event a “disgrace” and urged that “real artists” reject “platforms that are designed to kill the dancehall/reggae industry.”
Some of the more notable faces from dancehall, like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Cham, and others, were missing at this year’s event.