Artistes reject free Sting performance

November 17, 2016
Macka Diamond
Dexter Blake, aka DJ Linkage
Isaiah Laing
Contributed Mr Vegas

Stating that it costs organisers in the region of $40 million to stage Sting, half of which goes to paying artistes, a spokesperson for the stage show said it would be good if entertainers agree not to charge to perform at this year's show.

"The artistes' fees Sting pays are the highest for any show in Jamaica and at times in the Caribbean. Easily, the price is significantly more than any other show. An artiste will do most stage shows for free and usually charge Sting an average of 10 times what an everyday appearance would be," Keona Williams, public relations manager for Sting, told THE STAR.

On Tuesday, United States-based radio announcer DJ Linkage called for artistes to perform for free at this year's show.

"We have a platform that has been going through struggle and it seems like we are going to let it go," Linkage, producer of the Linkage Awards, said, noting that the promoters are struggling to get sponsors.


Would contribute


Linkage said that if artistes agree to perform for free at Sting, he would contribute US$10,000 (approximately J$1.3 million) towards the staging of this year's show.

Williams told THE STAR that there is no doubt that Sting will be held this year, but she did not seek to hide the fact that the show is in money problems.

"Sponsors have withdrawn backing based on the behaviour of artiste onstage and backstage," she said.

This lack of sponsorship, she said, means that the quality of production will be affected and the number of headline acts will be lower.


Peak season


Meanwhile, entertainer Macka Diamond, when asked about the suggestion that artistes perform free at Sting this year, said, "I don't see many artistes doing that."

"Even if the older artistes who understand the Sting legacy decide to do something like that, the younger ones are going to pressure him for money. It's really hard for artistes, and Sting comes at the time of the year when it's peak season for most artistes where bookings are concerned. So that would be really hard," Macka Diamond said.

Mr Vegas, meanwhile, said it is about time for a Sting rebirth.

"[Isaiah] Laing (head of Supreme Promotions which stages Sting] needs to just rebrand Sting because it's like he's just beating a dead horse," he said.

"If artiste even do it free this year and the turnout is poor, next year, are you going to ask people to do it free again?"

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