Reggae music concert turned chaotic after Tarrus Riley and Demarco failed to turn up on stage
At least 10 youths were arrested, several people robbed and property destroyed as angry fans fought to get back money they had paid for the show.
Jamaica’s top dancehall singers Tarrus Riley, Demarco and Ivorian Alpha Blondy were scheduled to perform at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on Saturday night but did not show up.
They were said to be holed up in their Eastlands Hotel in Hurlingham area after organisers of the show allegedly failed to honour their pledge to pay them. The artistes were to perform at KICC as part of ongoing celebrations of Kenya’s 50 years of independence.
More than 3,000 fans had turned up for the show after paying a staggering Sh2,500 for an ordinary ticket and Sh5,000 for a VIP one. Despite heavy downpour experienced earlier on Saturday night, the show kicked off well, with DJs and local artistes entertaining reggae lovers.
Things turned chaotic at about 2.30am when it was clear the main artists were nowhere to be seen.
Pleas from DJs to the crowd to be patient did not bear fruit as they started to throw bottles, stones and other objects onto the stage.
Fans overwhelmed security personnel and descended on the stage, vandalising the music equipment.
Journalists were not spared either. Pulse magazine’s Pius Cheruyiot found himself as a guest of State when, upon leaving KICC grounds, he was forced to seek refuge in a police van.
“Hey, please give us a lift to I&M building,” shouted Pius who was carrying heavy photography equipment. What he got was the most unexpected as the hunter became the hunted.
“Young man, I am arresting you!” ordered the passenger officer who burst from the car after clearing the entrance barrier opposite City Hall.
With swiftness, the baffled journalist was heaved into the seat behind the driver in a double cabin truck.