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O2 Arena Jamaica 50 concert: ‘Dancehall artistes too lie!’,  says insider


One of the insiders in  the planning and execution of the ‘Respect Jamaica 50’ series of concerts to be held at the O2 Arena in London, is livid at the “misrepresentation of the facts” as it relates to the absence of Dancehall artists on the lineup.

“Dancehall artists too lie!” he  almost shouted in a conversation with during an interview on Sunday.

According to the insider, the  dancehall artists have priced themselves off the concert and that’s the only reason for their absence.

“It’s just through I can’t be bothered to call up the media and tell them how this thing really go. They were all contacted – Vegas, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Etana, Chakademus and Pliers – the whole of them. And they all wanted big money; big entourage and first class tickets to London,” he explained to

Chaka Demus & Pliers

He noted that dancehall duo, Chakademus and Pliers had originally agreed to perform on the concert for 15 thousand pounds, but that fee was subsequently hiked to 25 thousand pounds. “Pliers  called up the promoter and told him that Chaka could not negotiate for the group and the real price was 25 thousand pounds.”

He noted that the budget just did not allow for that, so Chaka and Pliers, along with other dancehall acts who were sticking out for first class tickets for themselves and their husband/wife had to be struck off the list.

“One artist had an entourage of 12 persons … and remember that this does not include band members, as they will be backed by Lloyd Parkes’ band,” he noted, adding that there are no big sponsors and artists will be paid from gate receipts.

Mr. Vegas

Following  the recent launch of the ‘Respect Jamaica 50’ concert  to celebrate Jamaica’s Jubilee,  concern was expressed that dancehall as a genre was not being represented. In an article in the Sunday Gleaner last week, artistes such as Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Mr Vegas, Spice, Bounty Killer and Konshens lashed out against the lack of dancehall acts on the lineup.

Tony Rebel noted that he had been contacted and had been booked for the show but was subsequently taken off. He, however, did not give any reason for his exclusion, except to say that he should have performed on such an event.

Tony Rebel

The insider noted that the management of one female artist who had been approached for the ‘Respect Jamaica 50’ event, is now calling to say that they will accept economy  class tickets to London in order to do the concert.

“But that is too late. They should have said that when we were negotiating a while back. And, plus, these same artists who are talking and demanding big bucks cannot fill a venue. Three of these very same ones who are up in arms made a promoter lose his shirt a couple weeks ago because the three of them together could not pull 500 persons into a 2,000 capacity venue. The promoter called me bawling,” he said.

Queen Ifrica

He added that Busy Signal had been booked for the concert and his manager, Shane, had promised to sign the contract when they were in London recently. “But ..we all know what happened to Busy when he reached London. So it’s not that dancehall acts were deliberately excluded. They excluded themselves and want to blame other people. They must stop telling lies, man. They must talk the truth,” the insider told

Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee will be celebrated with a concert series to be held in London’s O2 Arena between July 25 and August 6.The concert will be put on by AEG Live and will feature some 50 Jamaican artists, dub poets and bands.


In a recent interview with a television station, Rob Hallett, president of AEG Live stated that dancehall music did not work everywhere.

“I’m very pleased to see reggae coming back with the reaffirmation of Morgan Heritage, young bands like Raging Fyah. I think it’s a good thing for the music globally because dancehall doesn’t really work everywhere. I, personally, love it, but it’s not the kind of music that is consumer-friendly as a Raging Fyah who, to me, follow in the footsteps of Bob Marley,” Hallett said.


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