Tanya Stephens Calls Out Sting Promoters For “Deplorable Behavior”

Months after declaring she’s done with Reggae Sumfest, singer Tanya Stephens is blasting the promoters of Sting, the clash-centered stage show she’d deliberately avoided for several years. 

The event, held by Isaiah Laing and Supreme Promotions, was graced with Stephens’ presence this year as she felt organizers had gotten their ducks in a row. Previous stagings have been plagued by reports of poor time and stage management and payment discrepancies for talent.

“I would be disappointed if I had no prior knowledge of this deplorable behavior, but I do – hence previous avoidance,” the These Streets artist wrote in an Instagram post today. “And how can I, a perfect stranger, be disappointed in someone who takes a fat dump on his own offspring’s legacy? The sad thing is, what I mistook for growth and maturity was just escalation of a lack of integrity. I saw evolution but unfortunately it wasn’t evolution of character, just evolution of a distasteful characteristic.”

Stephens performed at the Jamworld venue on Boxing Day after 4 a.m., which she said breached an earlier agreed timeslot. Her grievance pervaded her rushed 15-minute performance, which started with her removing her shoes after revealing she’d been standing long while waiting to perform. 

Between witty banter and classics like Handle the Ride and Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet, Stephens voiced her discontent with how the event was unfolding, adding she was told to “cut” her set (hence the “cut and go through” approach to her setlist). While performing Can’t Touch Me No More, she told the band to stop playing and addressed the inconvenience of a delayed performance.

“You know seh a after 4 right, and between me and you, me know mi tell unno seh a different ting a gwaan when mi reach 50 – it tun up and all of that. It tun up but it tun up from early. It nuh tun up after 4. Dem time a morning yah, mi a wake up fi go feed mi fowl dem, big and serious. So unno can’t start earlier? We cya do this earlier?”

Closing her set with It’s A Pity, she suggested that the Sting stage may not be in her cards for the future.

“It really was a pity, it was so f–ked up,” she said before telling fans, “I’ll see you next time, somewhere else.”

Her latter sentiment echoes that of her contemporary Spragga Benz, who was slated to perform at Sting but robbed of the opportunity. In an Instagram post of his own, the deejay took jabs at the event’s mismanagement and told fans to look out for him “in more organised environments”.

While some onlookers have opted to blame artists who had extensive sets, Stephens commended her peers for best navigating unprofessional environments for the sake of supporters.

“Would a later permit bring a different result? Could it? Was the show running smoothly??? In all of this, my respect for the artistes has grown. Despite always taking a beating from the audience, the artistes made the decision to deliver, despite most having no contractual obligation to do so. Breaches trump speeches. Nuff love and appreciation to the younger generation who gave the production a literal fall guy. If not for them, who could possibly be blamed for failure?”

She ended sarcastically, “Big up yourself @supremepromotionsja and especially Mr Isaiah Laing. Where others have deteriorated you have actually remained consistent. As good as you have EVER been!”

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