Dancehall sensation Skeng gets banned from performing at future public events in Guyana following fallout from his recent concert that ended in gunfire.
Guyanese government officials have banned Skeng and other artists from performing on public stages in the country. The announcement was made by the country’s Home Affairs Minister (Jamaica’s National Security equivalent).
The move comes just over a week after Skeng’s ‘Baderation’ concert at the government-owned Guyana National Park ended abruptly after patrons let off gunshots in celebration of the artist’s song “Protocol” that he was performing.
The Home Affairs Minister said Skeng being banned is a direct result of the “shooting off of guns and bottle pelting that took place” at the event.
The Minister, Robeson Benn, told reporters at a ceremony at the Community Relations Department of the country’s police force that artistes “like Skeng” will not be permitted to perform at events in Guyana held at public venues owned by the government.
Most of the massive venues that can hold large crowds are owned by the government and require permits.
“I have to say here and now, that no artiste like Skeng will ever come again into this country, will not come again into this country under the signature of any person from the Ministry of Home Affairs or from the Guyana Police Force, will not come on a public stage,” he said.
It doesn’t appear that the artiste is receiving an immigration ban which would violate the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) agreement which allows for the free movement of artists, musicians, media workers, and sports people across CARICOM.
He added that the artist can only perform at private events.
“If they want, they can go into a private club and behave as badly as they want. We will not sign off on any such artiste or any artiste who has a record of promoting vulgar and lawless behaviour including the firing of gunshots in public places”, the Minister of Home Affairs said.
This is not the first time that an artiste has been banned by Guyana.
Before his arrest in 2011, Vybz Kartel was famously banned off the airways by the Guyana Broadcasting Authority, which at the time said that his music “had nothing positive” to offer the Guyanese people.
Kartel had also famously responded that he wasn’t interested in going to Guyana and preferring to tour Iraq instead, setting off his loyal fans in the country.
As for which other artists, along with Skeng, will be banned, the Minister did not state names, but he did give the Guyana Police Force and other services not to grant permission for public events to “artistes like Skeng”.
Meanwhile, the police force was still investigating the shootings by exuberant fans as Skeng belted out lyrics from his “Protocol” featuring Tommy Lee Sparta, where the artist sings about gun violence and popping molly.
Jamaican artists have gone to a great extent to convince authorities locally that their lyrics are only inspired by the happenings on the island and not actual involvement in criminal activity. However, Guyanese fans have taken the lyrics literally, which has drawn criticisms from sections of the entertainment industry in Guyana.
Skeng nor his management team have not responded to the latest ban, but the move will certainly affect the artiste bottom line with less potential booking coming from that country going forward.