‘Unruly’ cut short
ST THOMAS, Jamaica – Scores of patrons complained bitterly as they made their way out of Phillips Field Sports Complex in Yallahs, St Thomas, early Saturday morning. Even after a show time schedule that would have given patrons a full eight hours of entertainment, attendees voiced their anger at the police’s decision to pull the plug on the event at minutes to 5:00 am.
“If a did some other show, a some other parts, unnu wouldn’t violate, but a because a St Thomas,” one male patron shouted at the cops as he exited the venue.
His concerns were echoed by the “Unruly boss” himself as police made their way onstage to put an end to the event which was making its grand return to the live entertainment scene.
“We say 4 o’clock and we give unnu til 5 o’clock. It’s time to go,” a policeman said as he urged the deejays to wrap up the event.
Popcaan, evidently upset, hurled insults at the cops in an expletive-laden rant.
“Hol’ on nuh, uncle. Watch yah nuh, uncle. Dat’s why St Thomas cyaan better, because unnu fight ‘gainst everything weh we do. Unnu move up, mi tired a unnu,” the deejay said, urging the bands to continue playing.
Indicating that he may move the event to the National Stadium in the near future, Popcaan highlighted that St Thomas will never be better if the parish continues to endure what he believes is unfair treatment from authorities.
One of the many events affected by the hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Unruly Fest was last held in December 2019.
If the turnout is anything to go by, patrons were clearly excited to herald the show’s comeback and expectations were high as the line-up included a slew of home-grown talent who would undoubtedly deliver top-notch performances.
With the likes of St Thomas natives Skillibeng and Chronic Law joining Popcaan on the entertainment line-up, Unruly Fest 2023 was expected to christen the “new look” for St Thomas, which recently received a ‘facelift’ courtesy of a new highway.
It was smooth-sailing to the venue as the usual ‘bad roads’ leading into the parish became a distant memory. It however was not smooth-sailing for an event which, in all fairness, took way too long get off the ground and hit its climax.
Organisers announced that the show would get underway at 9:00 pm but, at that time bars inside the venue were still being stocked with ice and only a handful of patrons were seen filing into the Phillips Field Sports Complex.
Luckily, it didn’t take long for the venue to be filled to capacity and, at minutes to 11:00 pm, there was a good sized crowd eagerly awaiting their favourite acts.
But it was a long run-up to the apogee. With the show filled with one too many ‘fresh acts’, the headliners began taking the stage for their stints at approximately 1:00 am.
In fact, even excited patrons grew weary at one point shouting at emcee, Ninja Kid, to bring out the big guns when he called out ZJ Liquid to do juggling during what should have been peak show time hours.
Najeeri, Skillibeng, Chronic Law, Govana, Jesse Royal, Protoje, and Sean Paul all served up exactly what patrons were waiting for in terms of performances, but it came just a little bit too late.
Just as things were heating up inside the venue, with confetti flying everywhere and hit after hit being spewed out by some of dancehall’s biggest acts, it was time to go. A seemingly premature ending to what could have been a great event had time management been prioritised.