Soca songstress back in Trinidad after fall

  • Destra Garcia performing at the Cup Match Summer Splash concert at Par-la-Villa car park, before injuring herself in a fall (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Destra Garcia after injuring her ankle at the Cup Match Summer Splash concert at Par-la-Ville car park

Soca queen Destra Garcia is recovering in Trinidad after breaking her ankle in a fall on stage at Wednesday night’s Cup Match Summer Splash concert.

Meanwhile Andrew Holmes of 441 Productions, which organised the show, told The Royal Gazette that statements in the Trinidad press that the stage had given way were “absolutely not the case”.

“The stage was not compromised in any way, despite what the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian said. The headliner, Sean Paul, was on stage right after — the stage was fine; it’s just a very unfortunate accident.”

A witness told The Royal Gazette that Garcia had slipped while attempting to place her foot on a speaker — a move she had carried out successfully earlier in the show at Par-la-Ville car park.

The witness added that the performer slipped between the stage and a speaker.

The concertgoer said: “It looked like she might have hit her head as well.”

“She was down for about 20 minutes before they took her away on a stretcher. It was scary.”

Mr Holmes confirmed, saying Garcia had made “a couple of steps from the stage to the speaker stacks”.

“She went to do that again and unfortunately she fell. The only way I can describe it is an extremely unfortunate accident. We wish her a speedy recovery.”

Mr Holmes added that the production team that assembled the stage had done the job “for many years” without issues.

“We’ve never had any problem with the quality of the stage.”

A member of the production team accompanied Garcia to the hospital, then back to her hotel to assist with getting her home.

Mr Holmes said he did not speak personally with the singer — but she was “upset, and physically in pain”.

“Health and safety is of paramount concern for the entire production team, which is why the St John’s Ambulance team was on site, and we’d like to give them a big shout out — it wasn’t easy but they did an awesome job.”

A spokesman for the Corporation of Hamilton, which owns the car park, said the City had been advised that there had been “nothing wrong with the stage”.

“If there had, it would have been strange, because the concert continued. It’s hard to see from the video what went on; one moment she’s standing and the next she’s fallen. But 441 have been doing productions island wide for years. They are one of the island’s top promoters — we don’t think they would let any performance go ahead if there was something wrong with the stage.”

Garcia was taken away on a stretcher, with her neck in a brace as a precaution, and Brian Morris, her manager, said she would require surgery.

The accident puts a spanner in the works for her upcoming performances: three events scheduled this weekend for the Caribana festival in Toronto are going ahead without Garcia this weekend, and her appearance at next week’s Emancipation Festival in the British Virgin Islands is also under threat.

Her friend, fellow soca star Ancil “Blaze” Isaac Jr, told the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian: “We take everything for granted.

“We go and do a sound check and make sure the sound is OK but we actually have to make sure that the infrastructure of the said event is working for us.”

Mr Isaac said he backed the introduction of Occupational Safety and Health Administration personnel at events.

He added: “Things like short stage and monitors in your way, we have to look at because they are serious safety concerns. We may have to get OSHA people involved to check to make sure the stage is safe for us.”

He suggested a clause be included in future contracts, explaining: “It will work out well for us to safeguard ourselves and also safeguard promoters against being sued for something like this.”

Nicknamed the Queen of Bacchanal, Garcia is known for hits such as I dare you, Bacchanal and Lucy.