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Confrontation forces Patrice, Lyrikal out of Big Bad Soca

Published: 
Friday, February 9, 2018
US Grammy nominee Cardi B during her performance at the Big Bad Soca fete at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy car park in Tarouba on Wednesday.

Although the rain failed to put a damper on Wednesday night’s Big Bad Soca fete featuring US Grammy nominee Cardi B, the drama behind the scenes led to 2018 Road March contender Patrice Roberts and US-based Lyrikal boycotting the show.

Roberts and Lyrikal were among the original cast of artistes to perform at the event at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy car park in Tarouba.

Roberts arrived backstage around 2.45 am yesterday and found that there was no changing room to prepare for her presentation, especially after just finishing a gig in Couva.

According to her manager Adanna Asson, they arrived an hour earlier than they were expected to hit the stage as Roberts had a specially prepared outfit for the event.

Asson said what they met backstage were two trailers for Machel Montano and Cardi B. Under two tents was a bar where people had crowded to shelter the rain.

She said a committee member of 66 Entertainment, the promoter of the event, was apologetic but empathised with the people sheltering in the rain.

Still determined to perform, she said Roberts’ team formed a human barricade, used tables and “house and land” umbrellas to allow her to change into her outfit.

While waiting for Bunji and Fay-Ann’s set to finish, they were bumped down the order for Cardi B. Still patient, she said that a woman who came with Montano’s dancers told everyone that they needed to clear the tent. The rain was still falling so those under the tent, which included Roberts and Lyrikal stayed.

She said some time later, a man came with an authoritative tone, and ordered everyone to vacate the tents as they attempted to create a partition.

“It still meant that we had to go out in the rain. At this point in time, I told them that my artiste was here and he said he did not care and that we had to clear the tent. Our breaking point was when he started to talk and put his hands in an artiste’s face,” Asson said.

She said up to yesterday, they did not know who the man was as he wore no uniform of the promoters or Montano’s crew. Calls were made to 66 Entertainment for a response, but no one answered. Asson said despite the upset, Roberts holds no malice towards the promoters and is willing to work with them again.

“We have worked with this promoter before and never had any issues in the past. Up to last year, we performed at their event and the treatment was impeccable. We hope to work with them in the future and we will talk to iron things out.”

During his set, Bunji Garlin commented on a layout that proved to be awkward at best, with a fence down the middle separating General patrons from VIP and another fence separating VIP from Ultra VIP that pushed VIP further away from the stage. In the VIP section, patrons were promised a food inclusive experience but were disappointed with the offerings as many expressed that they felt duped by the promoters.

While Bunji and Fay-Ann delivered excellent performances, it was Hip Hop artiste Cardi B who had patrons screaming her censored lyrics word for word. Coming on stage to one of her more recent hits, MotorSport, the artiste displayed her signature upbeat personality as she shared that she was “Trini”.

She performed for about 10 minutes before saying she didn’t come for American music and introduced Machel Montano, who brought the Soca Kingdom to South, keeping patrons warm as the rain beat down.

Patrons were short-changed with the absence of Voice and Shal Marshall, however, Jamaican artiste Shenseea, Nailah Blackman and Preedy all lived up to the hype.

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