Patrons at the Island Explosion stage show in Clarendon had an unpleasant surprise on Christmas morning at about 5:10, as the top acts were about to take the stage.
The show, which was being staged at the Country Club in May Pen, came to a premature end as a joint police/military team invaded the venue while a Clarendon artiste, Assailant, was on stage.
The officers invaded the stage and arrested the artiste for using profane language. He was escorted from the venue and later released.
While the artiste was being escorted from the stage, a Gleaner freelance photographer, Nathaniel Stewart, who was taking pictures at the event was assaulted by one of the police officers and his camera smashed and confiscated.
The police and military personnel were conducting a search for guns and other ammunition and the thousands of patrons in the venue were forced to wait for over five hours, until the security forces had concluded their search.
All three exits to the venue were sealed and heavily-armed soldiers surrounded the venue, as patrons and their vehicles were searched on leaving the venue. No weapons were found, though there were reports of shots fired during Capleton’s performance.
Eighty persons, including a man wanted by the Clarendon police, were taken to the May Pen Police Station and were processed.
The wanted man’s name has not been released because he is to undergo an identification parade. Patrons searched at the event complained about being roughed up by the security forces and treated in an unkind manner.
Up to the point of the invasion, the stage show was going well, as patrons were having a great time after been entertained by the likes of Ken Boothe, George Nooks, Coco Tea, Wayne Wonder, DaVille, Chris Martin, Shaggy, Etana, Queen Ifrica, Captain Barkey and Wicker Man and, the fireman, Capleton.
The most anticipated artistes, including Bounty Killer, Macka Diamond, Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, Elephant Man and Beenie Man did not get the chance to perform.
Patrons at the show told The Gleaner that they believed, “this is a plan t’ing fi mash up di promoter show because the show a gwaan peaceful and people a enjoy themselves.”
Other persons added that the incident would never happen at other high-profile events. “Bet dem nah go mash up Sting cause a police show dat,” some patrons were overheard to say as they exited the show.