Organizers of Groovin’ in the Park are conducting an investigation into why singjay Busy Signal’s microphone was cut during his set at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York, on Sunday.
According to a source close to the promoters, organizers were not the ones responsible for the abrupt ending of the artist’s performance.
“A statement is expected to be issued within the next 24 hours as to what really transpired. The organizers did not pull the plug on Busy,” the source told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Prior to the premature end, Busy Signal — who was making his US debut — was delivering a solid set and had the audience going with Bedroom Bully, Step Out, Nah Go A Jail Again, Unknown Number, and One More Night.
Sensing that his performance was about to be ended, he implored organizers not to shorten his set.
“Mi reach a the venue from 3 o’clock and mi suppose to perform at five, and now a hours later. I sat and watch everyone perform, so nuh try cut my time. Wi have a contract so unoo mus’ line-up unoo show so artiste can perform on time,” he stated. “Mi wan’ perform for mi people dem cuz a mi first time yah suh,” he pleaded.
His words fell on deaf ears.
“If mi can’t perform, R Kelly can’t perform either,” Busy Signal said angrily before handing over the microphone.
Overhead, a New York City Police Department helicopter circled the venue, while police on the ground braced for any unrest.
This resulted in a chorus of boos as MC Ras Clem of Groovin Radio pleaded with the crowd for calm. The angry throng was not impressed, and took out their frustration by booing representatives from a number of companies who were handing out prizes.
Before the drama, patrons were musically satisfied.
Tarrus Riley opened the event at approximately 2:00 pm. His smooth, melodious vocals had the crowd singing to Backbiter, Far Away, Never Leave I, and She’s Royal. Halfway into his 45-minute set, he invited British singer Estelle to join him on Come Over and Love Like Ours.
Sharing a two-hour segment, Lloyd Parks and We The People Band, U-Roy, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles and Freddie McGregor took fans back to the rocksteady era. Each performance was well-rehearsed and backed by a reggae orchestra directed by Ibo Cooper.
The Lennox Hill Baptist Choir was there for patrons who did not get a chance to attend Sunday morning church services. They were incorporated into the sets of Boothe and Sibbles.
U-Roy, Boothe, Sibbles and McGregor were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the music industry by United States Congresswoman Dr Una Clarke. She also presented McGregor with Keys to the City of Mount Vernon.
Although disappointed with the Busy Signal gaffe, the majority of patrons remained to watch headliner R Kelly’s performance.
The American R&B singer was captivating and had the females singing along to his many hits such as Wine For Me, Flirt, Bump and Grind and 12 Play.
American singer Stephanie Mills, who was scheduled to perform, left the venue after the Busy Signal episode.