Renowned artiste and tour manager Copeland Forbes is in pain and shock after a brutal fall off stage recently at One Blood Family Fest, and has been forced to cancel all upcoming events.
“On doctor’s orders I had to cancel my Europe trip for the next month, which would include some PR work on my book Reggae My Life Is in Turkey and Greece, and a few stops in Italy with Fabrizio Lagana and Paolo Novaro,” Forbes told THE STAR.
He is hoping that he will be able to make it to Reggae Sumfest to continue the special PR work Joe Bagdonovich and the Downsound Book Publishing Ltd team have planned.
Recounting the incident that took place at the June 3 concert in St Ann, Forbes said that he was on stage, having just congratulated Julian Marley on a splendid performance.
“[Julian’s brother] Stephen came up the stairs to the stage and greeted me with a handshake and one of his ‘Ragga’ smiles, plus congratulated me on my book. He was accompanied by a huge entourage … most of his security personnel … so I decided to get out of the way by leaving the front area at the top of the stairs and go away over to the far side on stage left,” Forbes explained.
He added, “Then one of Stephen’s security was heading to stage left to take up his position, so I stepped backwards towards the tarpaulin that surrounded that area of the stage, thinking that the tarpaulin had support or backings or railings. I stepped back into midair and went falling down to the ground. On the way down, I grabbed on to the tarpaulin which gave way. My right hand hit one of the iron bars supporting the stage … immediate pain in that hand. Then my left hand hit another iron crossbar which separated my US$750 Invicta watch from my hand … still haven’t found it up until now.”
The final fall was on the ground, flat on his back, as he was “spiraling down backwards, not being able to see where the final landing would be”. “The drop was so heavy it almost severed my head from my body … my neck area was in severe pain,” he said.
Production manager Worrell King came and assisted him from under the stage, and Sister Carol gave him her chair. Reid, along with King, Julian Marley and media personality Winford Williams helped him to Williams’ vehicle, where he awaited medical assistance.
Forbes remained at the show until morning and instead of going to a hospital in Jamaica as planned, he went for treatment in Florida, where he has excellent health insurance coverage.
“I booked a wheelchair-bound flight to Ft Lauderdale and went straight to the Bethesda Hospital. My right arm is in a cast and a sling. I was sent to do a MRI on Friday and must return to the orthopedic on Monday,” he said.
X-rays and tests have revealed fracture, a damaged rib and pulled muscles, but Forbes is grateful that it wasn’t worse.