Popcaan brought out the stars at his 2023 Unruly Fest.
Despite some big names taking the stage, the show ended abruptly on Saturday morning as police officers from the Yallahs police station told the artist he needed to pack up and finish the concert or face consequences of the law.
The event began early on Friday evening, but it wasn’t until later in the night, into the morning hours, that artists began to perform. Among those who were members of the Unruly camp serving as opening acts were headliners including Quavo, Skillibeng, Jesse Royal, Protoje, Govana, and Sean Paul, among others, who entertained the packed crowd.
Skillibeng at Unruly Fest
Although it wasn’t much of a hip hop crowd, fans were seen jamming to Quavo’s hits from his Migos and solo catalog.
Despite the night of festivities, the show was ended by local police after it continued beyond 5 am.
While one of the artists was performing, police came on the stage, turned off the mics, and closed off the event held at Phillips Field Sports Complex in Yallahs, St. Thomas. “We give you till 5 o’clock, it’s time to go,” police are heard saying to Popcaan.
An incensed Popcaan also responds to the group of officers while Tarrus Riley tries to mediate the situation.
“Hold on nuh Uncle, what ya nuh, that’s why St Thomas can’t better cause unnu fight everything weh we do. We nuh like unnu, St Thomas can’t better wid them thing yah… unnu too badmind bout yah,” Popcaan said.
View this post on Instagram
In the meantime, fans also reacted to the police closing the event at 5 am.
“When I drive through St Thomas, I feel like I’m passing through a time machine. The parish has been neglected for decades. What Popcaan is doing for the parish with his show is immeasurable,” one fan said.
Another added, “Honestly, I can hear & feel the frustration in Popcaan’s statements. Yes there is the law but we’ve also seen other people’s events held elsewhere that is permitted to go beyond the usual hours. Greed & overreach of the state stifle a lot of people & activities in Jamaica.”
Another fan defended Popcaan writing, “Didn’t like how they dealt with Popcaan Unruly Fest always finishes on time for the past 2. Performance times were cut to try to make it move faster. The Police didn’t have to come on stage and do that. It’s cringe! Remember it’s for the community why Unruly Fest is put on.”
This is the first time that Unruly Fest returned since the pandemic.