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IRAWMA FLOPS IN TRINIDAD
Several moments of dead air between and following presentations, along with a fair turnout marred the International Reggae and World Music Awards from being a success.
The red carpet affair celebrating 30 years was hosted for the first time in Trinidad at the spectacular Napa venue in Port of Spain. From the red carpet leading up to the venue was impressive. The stage was remarkable. However when the show began, the obvious disorganization and lack of stage management along with other important details told a different story.
IRAMA’s President and CEO Ephraim Martin gave us his account.
IRAWMA was hosted by Tony Rebel who was witty and at times hilarious, while his co-hosts Shaggy showcased comedic gestures and us singer Denise Williams tried.
Trinidad’s Machael Montana was the biggest winner of the night taking home 5 awards. Montano, who was nominated in nine categories, won ahead of international acts including Damian Marley, Nas, UB40, Third World and Beenie Man in the categories he won. Among the awards claimed by Machael Mantana was best Caribbean entertainer of the year.
Meanwhile singer Gyptain who lead the nominees was the biggest loser of the night copping only a single award for best video for hold yuh. Other entertainers who received awards were Tarrus Riley, Tony Rebel, Dean Fraser, Shaggy and Macka Diamond.
As it relates to performances, Taurus Riley, Dean Fraser and Gramps Morgan delivered however, there seemed to be something missing. The audience was stiff and gave dancehall deejays Tifa and Macka Diamond a struggle. Macka’s introduction of her new single cow foot was poorly received.
IRAWMA ended minutes after 11 with some of the entertainers who performed and the hosts singing bob marley’s one love.
IRAWMA promoter Ephrain Martin flopped in Trinidad on Sunday after failing to deliver what he promised to patrons who attended Reggae Meets Soca Chutney a concert that was part of the festivities for the weekend celebrating the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).
In addition to the handful of people that attended the event, headliners Shaggy, Queen Ifrica, Taurus Riley, Beenie Man, Jah Cure, Gramps Morgan, Rayvon, Machel Montano, Blaxx, Buffy and more did not attend the event.
The only performances of the night were delivered by two unknown acts from Miami and Jamaica.
Nonetheless, after waiting for as long as eight hours for the main performers; patrons left the venue disappointed and angry. At no time between 6 p.m. —when the show was scheduled to begin with a chutney segment— and after 2 a.m. when patrons began to leave, did any representative of Ephraim Martin's team take the stage to inform them of the situation.
Speculations flew like wildfire that the entertainers did not perform because of money issues. However, Ephraim Martin who was locked in a meeting with Trinidadian officials following the event in the wee hours Monday morning claims money wasn’t the problem.
With the exception of Beenie Man who allegedly missed his flight, all the reggae entertainers slated to perform were at the hotel.
Shaggy who didn’t want to be recorded sarcastically commented that he wasn’t invited to the event.
Meanwhile, Jah Cure claims money was not his issue. The Unconditional Love singer suggested he took a stance and stood by his fellow entertainers who made a decision not to perform.
It’s not clear if the patrons who paid between $200 and $900 for tickets will receive refunds since nothing was in place to determine who attended.
So all in all, Martin’s International and Associates left a bad impression in Trinidad after the failure of Reggae meets Soca/Chutney Live in Concert.