KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Jamaican artiste Jah Cure did not perform at the Victoria Park Saturday night although he was paid US$15,000 (EC$40,500) as part of his appearance fees, according to promoter Mr. Matrix.
Mr. Matrix said on radio Monday morning that show organisers, unable to raise the outstanding amounts due to the artiste, asked Jah Cure if he would make a 20- to 30-minute appearance.
However, Jah Cure refused, citing concerns about his safety because drinks were being sold in glass bottles at the “Irresistible Temptation” concert, according to Mr. Matrix.
Patrons pelted the stage at the Victoria Park with bottles after it became know that the artiste would not perform. Their actions resulted in cops flying their guns into the air to restore order.
“The situation with respect to that is that even if we could have convinced him to make something due to the payment that was made, it would have been dangerous,” Mr Matrix said.
But the radio announcer noted that Jah Cure never even left his hotel room for the Victoria Park and questioned the logic of Mr. Matrix’s statement, to which the promoter responded: “When it comes to that, I don’t want to – ”
But while Mr. Matrix’ explained why Jah Cure did not perform as advertised even though he was in the country, he left patrons unsure as to when they would be refunded their ticket monies.
“Our company is working very hard at this point in time to try to accommodate persons that purchased tickets from us and to fix the situation. And we will be calling in to let them know when we have the substantial amount of fund … so we could have some sort of refund,” he said.
He told listeners that he did not want to indicate a date when such refunds would be made.
Mr. Matrix apologised to patrons for the development saying concert organisers “didn’t expect things to happen this way in which it happened”.
He said that the concert organisers found out that there was “a crisis at the gate”.
“Two thousand bogus tickets … were sold underground to patrons at whatever price. They weren’t sold by any of our outlets or any of our runners on the street.”
There were over 4,000 people at the show but the company only issued 2,500 tickets, some of which have not been sold.
The bogus tickets, Mr. Martrix said, started “a big mishap”.
“So that is basically what caused the main mishap with respect to what went on at the show,” Mr. Matrix said and confirmed that reports that Jah Cure did not perform because he did not receive the full payment agreed upon.
Organisers were hoping to use funds collected from ticket sales to pay the artiste the remaining money. However, in addition to the bogus tickets, “last minute expenses that came on to us with respect to certain things to make the show a reality”, contributed to the shortfall in cash, according to Mr. Matrix.
“When you have a full team of members who are suppose to play their part and when time comes for them to play their part they pull out, it puts more strain on the main promoter himself….
“But I am not blaming them. I am blaming myself. At the end of the day, I wanted to make the show because the show was a promotion for my company to launch a record label … and I really worked hard on making it a reality to please people of St. Vincent. Because it was something that everybody wanted and if I have come within the last few days and say ‘Jah Cure not coming again’, people would have really, really disappointed,” he said.
“I didn’t expect all this to happen. It was really, really disappointing to me as well,” Mr Matrix said, adding that the source and price of the bogus ticket was another consideration.
“We are working vigorously to find out who printed the tickets …, who was the persons who went with them to get them printed and numbered and everything,” he said.
Mr. Matrix further said that some businesses that were initially interested in sponsoring the did not do so because “they didn’t know about the promotion company”.
“We are from Trinidad; we have done shows in Trinidad. I am a Vincentian. I just want to let this out to everybody. I am a born Vincentian. I am not a Trinidadian. Because they are saying that I am a Trinidadian and I come to scam the people and everything.
“The other thing is I lost way more than anything else here … because everything went down the drain. Even Jah Cure went away with US$15,000 from us,” he said.
Mr. Matrix, in an Internet communiqué apologised to patron, saying that Jah Cure did not perform “despite the fact that he was paid US$15,000.
“He decided he was not going onstage even if he was to make a performance of 20, 30 minutes he could due to the fact that drinks were sold in bottles.”
But reports reaching I-Witness News indicate that drinks were poured into disposable cups in keeping with the no bottle policy at such events. However, angry patrons are said to have raided the bar to retrieve the empty bottles used to pelt the stage.
The promoter, noted that Saturday’s development have long-term implications for the reputation of his company, Matrix Music Group.
“… It makes it bad on Matrix Music Group and we don’t want this to reach to that extent where Matrix Music Group cannot do anything in St. Vincent again. Hence the reasons why we are working hard to fix all situation, all the mishap that happened between the night of the show to now. We are working hard to make sure that the people … can get back something for what happened for the night,” Mr. Matrix said.