Sting promoters have officially announced that they have canceled the 2016 staging of the concert and that Vybz Kartel‘s incarceration has a big role to play in their decision.
Supreme Promotions principals Isaiah Laing and Heavy D sat down for an interview with Winford Williams where they break down why the show was axed this year. “Headline artists… The last two three years the headline acts just wasn’t there so there was no crowd at Sting,” Heavy D said.
The promoter attribute that void in headline acts to the absence of Vybz Kartel from dancehall for the last five years due to his incarceration for murder. “Since Kartel gone [prison] its sad but the headline move, so we can’t get back that type of headline right now,” he added. “You can have 50 artists to work but if you don’t have two [hot artists] the other 48 don’t count.”
Only a few days ago Ninjaman revealed that there will be no Sting 2016, while also revealing that he is in fear of his life due to his fallout with the head of the festival Isaiah Laing.
Laing and Heavy D also noted that some artists shy away from the concert because they are afraid of the tuff audience. “It is known worldwide that Sting is the hardest audience to please, because from you put your first foot forward and open your mouth you will get the boo or give you the bottles,” Isaiah Laing said.
Hardcore dancehall fans will agree with that statement about the Sting crowd. But that show has been a pivotal part of the culture for three decades and several artists are voicing their support for its longevity. Despite canceling the show for this year, Laing says that Sting will return next year but likely in a different format. The businessman added that he will also be giving awards to artists/entertainers who have supported Sting over the years. Bounty Killer and Ninjaman are two of the names put forward.
Sting has been Jamaica’s core dancehall stage show for over 30 years with some of the biggest names in the genre performing on that stage including Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Ninjaman, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, and Mavado.