Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Abrupt end to Twelve Tribes concert - Mikey Spice disappointed

Published:Wednesday | November 6, 2019 | 12:00 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Mikey Spice

Reggae singer Mikey Spice is not hiding how he feels about what happened on Saturday night at the Twelve Tribes of Israel HQ on Hope Road, at the official celebration of the 89th anniversary of the coronation of Haile Selassie I and his wife, Empress Menen. Spice, who was the headliner on a concert featuring cultural acts, wasallowed to perform only one song, after which he had to exit the stage, and the concert came to an abrupt end.

“Disappointment. That’s the best word to describe my feelings,” he said in an interview with The Gleaner Monday night. Actually, the promoter said that Mikey Spice had “stormed out of the venue” on Saturday, and it was obvious that, two days later, the ire was still fresh.

“I chose Israel’s show because they represent the people of God, and when you are doing God’s work, you are supposed to go by his guidance. But instead the production seemed random, unorganised and unprofessional. The evening was supposed to be reverent enough to pull its way through, and with the right communication and other things, it should have,” the Florida-based Spice, who has not performed at a major event in Jamaica for “a few years”, said.

For their part, the promoters say that the police, who visited them three times during the event, were partly to be blamed for the anticlimactic ending of their annual celebration. “From 9 o’clock the police visited us to check our permit, which was in order, and also to say that they had been getting noise complaints. They didn’t have a noise decibel recorder or anything, and they didn’t do the 100 yards check to hear what was happening sound-wise.They then made another visit before midnight, and allowed us to keep on playing,” Paul Ashton, Twelve Tribes communications specialist, said.


However, at 12:45 a.m., the police entered the Hope Road venue for a third time and ordered the promoters to lock off the music because they said they had received complaints from neighbours.

“Warrior King was on stage, after which it would have been Mikey [Spice]. People had paid to see Mikey perform. He had spent days in rehearsals and we had made an investment in this event and had a permit that granted us until 2:00 a.m.,” Ashton told The Gleaner. So he went to negotiate with the police. And it was here that the communication problem alluded to by Mikey Spice surfaced. While Ashton was trying to come to some kind of amicable solution which would have allowed Mikey Spice to perform his set, the emcee entered the discussion and asked for Spice to be allowed to do one song, and subsequently communicated that backstage.

Warrior King was hurriedly ushered off the stage and replaced with Mikey Spice, who was told “one song”. However, the police later backtracked on their “lock-off” stance and agreed to having the set being turned down, but by then Spice had done his one song and the curtains were unceremoniously hauled down on the celebration of the 89th anniversary of Haile Selassie on the throne.

Mikey Spice, who performed for free, says he gave up a paid event in order to perform for Israel. “I gave myself to that body willingly. I sat there and watched all these unorganised acts that went up and performed, leaving questions in my thought. There were sound issues as well, and by the time I was supposed to perform, there was no time,” he lamented.

Ashton regrets that things ended this way. “We started late because of the rain and there were a few things that could have been done better. But we hope that we can patch things up with Mikey. This leaves a bitter taste in our mouths,” he said.