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Caesars Army Boss Says Astroworld Disaster Seemed Predictable but Preventable. Big Lessons To Be Learnt.

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International media has reported that a ninth person has died following last Friday’s tragic stampede at rapper, Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’ music festival in Houston, Texas. The ninth victim is a 22-year-old college student. The youngest to have succumbed to injuries so far is 14. A nine year old boy who was also seriously injured, is currently in a medically induced coma at hospital. Eighty civil lawsuits had been filed, up to Thursday, in connection with the incident. The attorney representing the entertainer, on Friday said, “There obviously was a systematic breakdown that we really need to get to the bottom of before we start pointing fingers at anyone.”

Jules Sobion at one of his major events.

Caribbean event promotional outfit, Caesars Army is just one of many global promotional teams that often facilitate mass gatherings for the entertainment of all, and while its founder, Jules Sobian admits that none of his events exceed 10,000 patrons, he believes there are serious lessons to be learnt from this tragedy.

“This seemed like a predictable but preventable tragedy,” said Sobion, in an exclusive chat with EBUZZTT on Thursday. He lamented the devastation, but said Travis Scott has a history of inciting crowds during his performances. “That in itself seems like a red flag for me, as I would not prescribe to anybody who is of total focus or attention, inciting my crowd in dangerous activities. It will only auger badly or negatively on the event organiser itself,” he explained. “I would remember when ‘Pick up Something,’ (Grenada’s Mr. Killa)was a big song. There were certain responsible event production managers that would ensure that if any song would incite rowdiness, or cause mayhem, the song would not be played, because we are responsible for the safety and security of the event,” he said. Beyond that however, Sobion pinpointed communication among key security and safety personnel as a major area of importance in hosting any event. “It’s the collaboration and cohesion of medical, fire, police, health and safety requirements; Based on this mass casualty event, it seemed that for a 50,000 crowd, they were not able to manage the complexities of such a crowd. In essence it seemed like from before, during and after the show, there were a number of failures.”

Sobion’s team produces events like A.M Bush, IN.De.Paint.Dance, Mai Tai, Bacchanal Blocko and Bacchanal Road to name a few. He believes that protocols established with communication at the centre of it all, could essentially safeguard all involved.“From a Trinidad and Tobago context and an event promoter’s context globally, it’s a matter of the cohesion and the buy- in, and the support from a cohesive team. It also comes down to communication among the personnel who are part and parcel of the event. There must be a hub- an area of communication where all officials will be in one station, or one workplace, to receive dilemmas in one hub. I don’t think Astroworld had that,” he noted.

Jules said while in the Caribbean, most events are usually on a much smaller scale, events of the Astroworld magnitude, require a high level of production. “I know for a fact that we, as simple Caribbean people – we tend to do the right thing. Police and Fire officials play an intrinsic role in the safety of any event and that is the main thing. Communication among all involved- a cohesive collaboration of entities, is responsible for a safe event production, and that just seemed like it was not the case last weekend,” he said.

Apart from the establishment of the communications hub, which Sobion said he certainly established for Bacchanal Road, he said it is imperative that the units attached to these crucial entities, are put into place in the most strategic way. “The communications hub is necessary but you also have to strategically put in place the units of these entities, within the event so that they can actually execute in the scenario of incidents to make sure that it’s dealt with immediately,” he highlighted, adding, “Communications coming centrally is important and having all persons on alert where you can actually communicate with the entities within the event and know how to deal with the incidents – whether to have the show stopped etcetera- that’s key.” Sobion said agents under the purview of the critical safety departments are tasked with communicating any emergencies immediately so that incidents do not carry on and end up causing mass casualties.

Last Friday in Houston, concert goers said the crowd surge that essentially led to nine deaths, began when Travis Scott took the stage. According to President of the Houston Firefighters Association, Patrick Lancton, Firefighters who were stationed outside the venue were not in radio communication with the emergency medical providers hired by the concert organisers as the situation unfolded.

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Sistaron’s Trailblazing. Artist’s New Hit Single, ‘Fwd’, Is All That!

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Rhonda Knights is the undisputed female HipHop queen of Trinidad and Tobago and this incontestable fact facilitated her rise to acclaim in the 90’s in Trinidad and Tobago, but she’s far from done. As fierce as she’s ever been, Sistaron, as she’s popularly known, now delivers another hit single, this time with melody that’s intrinsically Soca. 
Even amid pandemic restrictions, Sistaron remained focused, bent on delivering her unique sound, and that she has. She’s made a point of blending her country’s sweet, Soca melody with a few lines that bring home the head- bopping fire she’s well known for. ‘Fwd’ is a lyrically sound piece of work that’s uplifted with the production skill of none other than producer, LL Cool Blaze, with mastering by Keron ‘Sherrif’ Thompson. Peter ‘Wildfire’ Noel is credited with vocal co-production, building on their relationship from her previous release, ‘Waiting for You.’

When she re-emerged onto the Caribbean music circuit two years ago, Sistaron received a warm welcome. Her single, ‘Look Ting Now’ was enough to prove that she was prepared to leave a lasting impression. Now, with a thirst to deliver music that fans and people from all walks of life can relate to, dance and sing along to, the former Keskidee Karavan hit maker, elevates with ‘Fwd.’ 

“It’s a track that anyone can relate to – men and women,” she explained, adding that this particular single isn’t being marketed specifically to the carnival season. “A lot of the artistes have changed that mindset of creating music with lyrics specific to carnival. The pandemic showed many of us what needed to change. We’re at a crossroads where we simply want to release music for consistency and we don’t want to be pressed for a certain time period,” she said. The Miami based artist highlighted the chaos often caused when music is released specifically for the Carnival season, with artistes all clamoring for radio airplay. “This situation may prove beneficial to the industry, since now we can all focus on delivering music anytime, irrespective of a festival per say.” 

Sistaron

Still, the carnival lover maintains hope that Trinidad and Tobago will see brighter days ahead. “Many of us out here in the US are concerned because we know the strain the economy back home, is under. We know what our contribution annually, means to the economy,” she said, highlighting that no matter what, Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival is essential. 

Equipped with her individual style and flair, Sistaron says it’s never easy to reinvent oneself and keep going, and for that, she’s immensely satisfied with her determination. “I’m shocking myself all the time,” she said, laughing at the moments she often finds herself pondering the fact that she wrote the music she just happens to be singing. “Someone once told me that I should keep adjusting my crown, because they’re watching, and that fueled me to keep going,” she admitted, adding, “reinventing myself and producing good stuff is giving me my own vibe right now.”

She tells up and coming creatives to avoid placing boundaries on themselves, saying that it’s good to broaden their perspective so they can see a wider spectrum of all that they can be. Her new single is testimony to that mindset- the artist explaining that it all came together as it needed to, after multiple random chats with friends and even a chance encounter with an Afro Beats mixtape she’d heard almost two years before. “This song is made up of a little of everything, meshed perfectly to deliver a huge something that’s not only relatable, but honest and real,” she said. 

For the very latest on Sistaron, follow her on Instagram @sistaron.

CHECK OUT THE NEW MUSIC VIDEO

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Bunji, Fay Ann Go Hard With New Soca Rave Sound.

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As talk of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival 2022 maintains some momentum with stakeholders weighing in on the practicality of a festival being hosted, soca artistes like Fay Ann Lyons and her husband, Bunji Garlin, are hard at work. The duo, still overseas, having spent most of the summer in the US, have unleashed a brand new track, collaboratively done and totally out of the box. This morning, Bunji declined to comment on the new single or anything else for that matter, telling us that he preferred to focus on releasing good music for the people at this present time.

The new single is a crossover into the mainstream ‘rave’ genre that is huge in places like Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and New York. Blending the traditional hyped sound of Soca music with the Rave element, breeds a flavour that they both deliver comfortably on. In 2015, Lyons-Alvarez experimented with the sound when she unleashed the powerful, ‘Raze’- a tune that proved to be a truly epic fetter’s anthem. Now, fast forward to 2021, as the world anticipates a revival of energy to life, she comes hard again, this time with her husband, in a song they’ve called, ‘What You See.’

The new single was collaboratively written by both artistes and produced by St. Lucia’s, Lashley ‘Motto’ Winter and Yannick Plante. The track sits on the Ibiza Riddim, which also features Motto and St. Vincent’s Skinny Fabulous.

HERE’S THE BRAND NEW TRACK:

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