Boom sound clash not rigged - Title sponsor says King Addies broke competition rules
Title sponsor of the All-Star Sound Clash, Boom Energy Drink, has rubbished claims that they are taking payments to fix the outcome of their clashes.
The accusations against the sponsor come after a controversial decision last week determined that Japan's Hemp Zion were the true winners of the clash and not King Addies as was originally announced.
Last Thursday night's clash ended in somewhat of a brawl with backstage confrontations between judges and members of the respective sound systems. A source close to the competition claimed that money was allegedly paid to a few of the judges in order to secure Hemp Zion's spot in the competition, and when Hemp Zion did not emerge the winners, it is alleged that all hell broke loose.
Things then took another turn for the worse a day after the original announcement, as the initial decision was overturned and Hemp Zion awarded the win. Several persons have been dubbing the clash Boom Trash, pointing out that this is the second consecutive year a decision has had to be overturned in the competition.
However, in an interview with THE STAR, Chieftin Campbell, a representative of Boom Energy Drink, said that these claims are not true.
He admitted that the decision to award Hemp Zion the win a day after was undoubtedly controversial, but he said that it had nothing to do with any judge accepting cash in exchange for a win.
Campbell explained that King Addies had violated competition rules and it was decided after a review of the tapes that Hemp Zion should be awarded the victory.
"We have three judges, and people need to bear in mind that the judges are humans and at times they will make human errors. There are times when the judges will miss things they should be looking out for based on the atmosphere of the competition. It is difficult to hear everything you are supposed to listen out for and so you have to review tapes," he explained.
"King Addies, on the night in one of their final sets, cursed and that is against the rules. Sounds before them have been disqualified for that, and that's what happened. The judges did not hear the cursing on the night and ended up rewarding King Addies the win. Based on our rules, if we didn't act, that would have made the situation worst. People would think they can disobey the rules and get away with it. We don't like having to overturn the judges ruling, but to not have people believe it's a joke clash and lose faith in this, we have to stick to the rules."
Addressing a similar incident that took place last year, Campbell expressed that both were rare occasions and maintains that the integrity of the competition has never been compromised.
"It doesn't happen often and things, like these are usually a one-off thing so for people to say we are in this for money is just laughable. Where payola is concerned, there is absolutely no way that can come into play. It is something we feel very strongly about. People are going to always say people pay off people. We have no evidence or knowledge of that," he said.
"The truth is we started the Boom clash because of the culture and the love for dancehall. There is no way that we would, as a corporate company, put money over culture when we invest so much in dancehall. We don't make anything from this clash in terms of money. What we're doing is simply to keep entertainment and the culture alive."