Following the commemoration of Sting media launch, founder of the ‘greatest one night reggae and dancehall show on earth’, Isaiah Laing, said he is ready to pass on the baton to his son after 40 years of hard work and sacrifices to host this historical event.
“I’m going to leave the legacy because this year might be the last year that I will be at the helm. I’m bringing in the youth [his son], the young one and I have a next partner who has a young son, so I’d let both a them go ahead wid it. I’ve done enough work for the country and the industry and I’ll be around to guide dem because this is a legacy that is to be treasured;” Laing told THE WEEKEND STAR.
The retired high-profile police sergeant-turned promoter, said he believes it is time to step down, based on the fast pace and trajectory of the musical space right now.
“I’ve been doing Sting since I was 26 and Sting is now 40, so I think I’ve been there long enough now. It’s time for a shift because it’s the younger people time now and my thinking is not all that young and fresh, so I don’t want to lead. I need young people to come to the fore and lead, based on where the marketplace is now,” said Laing.
He added, “Maybe it’s the last time you will see an assembly of these calibre artistes all on one stage, dis is it. All a di top guns, mi draw fi dem.”
Laing said the decision is not finalised, therefore his son is not ready to comment, however, he said he was “elated” about the takeover.
In recalling one of his most memorable Sting moments, Laing pointed to the 1991 clash between dancehall veterans Ninja Man and Super Cat.
“I got shot and I recovered enough to go to Sting that year and sat all the way at the back of the stage, looking down on the crowd. And when Ninja Man seh ‘Reverse di hearse and mek mi put in the dead’, it’s like you was looking at a rough sea. Everyone was in unison, every hand going up and the crowd jumping in unison, trampling the ground. I’ll never forget that,” he recalled. However, the 2003 stampede that occurred when Ninja Man and Vybz Kartel had a fracas on stage was his biggest regret.
After retiring, Laing said he would love for future generations to learn of his impact on this event as the person who is “always bringing the people from across the world together to enjoy nice clashes [as this] marks an important feature of the event being annually hosted on Boxing Day”.