Riots force Busy Signal to cancel show

BULAWAYO - Angry fans ran amok at the Large City Hall here on Friday — looting beer and foodstuffs in protest over poor sound quality which forced local star Winky D to leave the stage in the middle of a performance — before the overwhelmed organisers called off  the big concert whose main act was Jamaican dancehall and reggae musician, Busy Signal.

Thousands of music fans who had paid through the nose to watch the Jamaican artiste were left fuming after the engineers failed to fix the sound system which meant the main acts Busy Signal and South African Busiswa, could not perform.

The chaos that rocked the venue led to the cancellation of the much-hyped gig.

Trouble started when Winky D was performing his hit song Bhebhi Rinobhowa. Unhappy with the poor sound quality, the Ninja President left the stage in a bid to push the sound engineers to address the problem.

But his spirited efforts proved fruitless as the technical glitches continued — prompting some visibly-drunk fans to resort to throwing missiles at the deserted stage.

In the ensuing melee, the enraged fans, who had paid $10 for the cheapest ticket, repeatedly chanted “Asifuni bumbulu” (We don’t tolerate nonsense)” while calling for Winky D to come back on stage.

As the drama continued, some fans took advantage of the chaos to loot food and beer that was being sold in the venue.

In the end, the show had to be abandoned before Tocky Vibes, Busy Signal and Busiswa could take to the stage.

Local songstress Sandra Ndebele who was also part of the chaotic show blamed the promoter.

“Fans were really looking forward to seeing the headline acts (Busy Signal and Busiswa) perform. The international acts did not even get much time to mingle with fans.

“I think this could have created the belief in the fans that the concert was real because there were some fans who thought they had been sold a dummy,” bemoaned Ndebele.

“It’s a bad outcome. Fans got angry and everything was messed up. My instinct told me to perform first because I know when there are many people lined up the sound tends to get messed up due to different plug-ins’’.

"This is bad for Bulawayo fans who were ready to rock with Busy Signal and Busiswa. I guess we will have to wait for another day or year,” weighed in award-winning rapper, Cal_Vin.

It was not clear whether the sponsors of the ill-fated concert, Y2K Promotions, would refund the fans.

Y2K Promotions is run by a Zimbabwean based in the United Kingdom.

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