Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, has dismissed claims by international dancehall artiste Shaggy that he is not making King’s House available for the biennial benefit show, Shaggy and Friends Concert.
In an official response, King’s House said that the issue is the use of the East Lawn at the facility, instead of the West Lawn.
King’s House is the official residence of the Governor General of Jamaica and according to the missive, the East Lawn is used only for parking for national occasions, which include the swearing in of Prime Ministers and the National Honours and Awards Ceremony.
The letter stressed that the West Lawn has remained available to park vehicles for the Shaggy and Friends Concert, as has happened in the past.
According to the letter, using the East Lawn also creates a security issue for both King’s House and the adjacent Jamaica House, where the concert is held.
Monday, at a press conference, Shaggy said that the growth of the Shaggy and Friends Concert has caused traffic congestion, which the use of the East Lawn at King’s House would help to alleviate.
Shaggy, whose birth name is Orville Burrell, said that Governor General Granted the use of the East Lawn for the 2018 concert, but his Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation, which stages the concert, received a letter afterwards, advising that the site would no longer be available for the event.
A copy of the referenced letter was shared on social media by Chris Dehring, a known business associate and colleague of Shaggy.
The Shaggy and Friends Concert is used to raise funds to assist the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Shaggy said at the press conference, that the lack of a suitable venue, jeopardises future staging, with the 2020 event already cancelled.