'Royal' standoff at Jamaica Bacchanal J'Ouvert

It took some persuasion from the police to get headliner Destra back on stage at a well-attended staging of Bacchanal J’Ouvert held at Mas Camp in St. Andrew last Friday night.

The Queen of Bacchanal stormed off the stage an hour into her high-energy set when her requests for the removal of the guardrails weren’t met.

“Move the fence. I’m not performing if the fence doesn’t come down,” said Destra, as she sat on the steps leading onto the stage.

“The fence move yet?” she asked the audience from backstage.

“Nooooo!” the crowd yelled in unison.

The fence she referred to was the guardrails separating the VIP and general patrons.

Even the intervention of Bacchanal Director Michael Ammar Jr. couldn’t get the Trini Queen back on track.

After a nearly 20-minute stand-off and some consultation with the police, Destra eventually continued her set. Part of the “fence” nearest the front of the stage was removed.

Her hypeman, Silva (Stuart Silva) tried to hold the fort during her absence.

“I’m not an irresponsible person and I’ll never do anything that would cause harm to myself or others,” Destra told the Jamaica Observer.

“Soca music is a music that unites all. Nobody cares how much money you have in the bank. Everybody jumps and dance with everybody.”

Destra said in her discussion with the police they “came to an arrangement.”

She said she had no regrets for actions. “No regrets, never. You have one life to live, you shouldn’t have regrets,” she said.

Friday’s staging of Bacchanal J’Ouvert started out with Trinidad soca artist Kerwin du Bois opening the live segment.

Du Bois’s selections of tracks had patrons gyrating and singing along. His latest singles Bacchanalist, No Apology, Circles, Spoil Mehself and Monster Winer found their mark with the Bacchanal faithful.

He closed with familiar standards including Too Real, Backazz and Forget About It.

Destra, who was next, came out guns blazing with her smash hit Lucy.

Accompanied by backup dancers and hypeman Silva, she showed why she has been a fixture on Bacchanal stage since 2010.

She continued pleasing the masses with Destra Queen of Bacchanal, The Road is Calling, I Dare You, Tremble It and Call My Name.

After she concluded her performance, patrons adorned themselves in paint and headed into the streets to continue the party.

Ammar Jr. gave his take on Destra’s set. “Good performance; a little bad judgment.”

Will she be on Bacchanal next year?

“She comes every year. She’ll be on next year,” he said.

Jamaica Observer