2

Busy signal disaster: what went wrong

Bruce Ndlovu
What was expected to be a momentous night last Friday ended in disaster when missiles rained on stage before Jamaican superstar Busy Signal had even stepped on stage.

Many were left despondent at the crowd trouble which left the City Hall Car Park carpeted in liquor bottle fragments, sparking a looting frenzy that went even beyond the venue’s gates.

After such a troubled night, an uneasy hush descended on the City of Kings’ showbiz’s scene and many have been asking what exactly went wrong on that night when a genuine dancehall star was set to have a rare outing in Bulawayo.

The spark that led to the bottle throwing spree, as many saw, were the sound troubles that bedevilled the start of Winky D’s set. Apparently the blame for this lay with the organisers’ who had lost out on their preferred sound system to the financial might of Delta Beverages who instead snatched it for the Chibuku Neshamwari which was scheduled for the next day.

However, some have blamed Winky D and other artistes for failing to follow the proper steps before the gig. The Gafa and others had reportedly refused to attend a sound check before the concert started, leaving organisers in a quandary.

This was confirmed the next day by rapper Stunner, who seemed to be privy to behind the scenes goings on in the promotion of the show.

“Winky D did not go for sound check of which he then did not need to abandon show because it was his fault.

Aitofanira kushinga,” the rapper said on Facebook.

He went on to allege that there was a conspiracy to intentionally sabotage the Gafa’s sound, before miraculously fixing it when Busy Signal went on stage.

“The sound was good before but when he got on stage he got a taste of what all other major dancehall artistes do including him. The sound was sabotaged only to be made better when Busy Signal goes on stage so Winky D did not want any of it and he left the stage,” he said.

However, sound was not the only problem on a night when everything that could go wrong seemed to do so.

The security at the event was porous, as at one point a horde of people jumped over the barrier in the VIP section before making their way into the venue illegally. Nothing was done to stem the tide, with the few security details on hand seemingly overwhelmed.

One of the organisers of the gig later revealed that Y2K Promotions, the organisers of the gig, had only managed to get 10 police officers for the gig, and these were to be assisted by 10 bouncers they had brought along. The 20 seemed to be woefully inadequate given the mass of people that turned out for the gig.

Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists have also gone into overdrive. Some allege that a few unruly elements were hired to disrupt the show at all costs. In the world of music promotion it would not be the first time, especially considering that Y2K had allegedly snatched Busy Signal from a rival promotion group that had already earmarked him for shows in Bulawayo and Harare.

While there is no proof to these claims, B-Metro did notice a few individuals that seemed to take particular relish in the missile throwing, stubbornly defying those in the crowd that tried to quell the unrest.