Promoter blames the economy
Scores of reggae fans were left furious and out of pocket when the main act failed to show up on Friday night at the Lions Centre.
Patrons paying $20 and $25 were outraged that reggae star Cocoa Tea did not perform because he was not paid his appearance fee in full before the show started.
A succession of minor acts performed just after midnight for an hour and a half and when the time came for Cocoa Tea to top the show Kayan Mattutie, the show’s coordinator, announced that he would not be coming on.
The astonished crowd took it reasonably well and walked out grumbling but some wanted their money back but could find no one for refunds.
The show was promoted by Multi-Coloured Records in association with Wolves Basketball Club. Cocoa Tea was staying at the Westin Hotel and refused to leave until he got his money.
A fuming Loxley Dunbar said: ‘I am an ardent supporter of reggae music and every time they keep a show here I attend. I paid $20 and I’m a loser on the night.
‘I was at a nightclub last night and Cocoa Tea was there so I knew he was on the island.
‘They took money under false pretences. If this happened in Jamaica the promoters couldn’t surface.’
One woman who refused to give her name said: ‘This is an idiot thing. Cocoa Tea is an old school artist, that’s why I came out. You can’t just take people’s money like that, we’re in a recession.’
Donna Ebanks was another unsatisfied customer. ‘This show wasn’t promoted properly,’ she said. ‘A big show like this needs two or three months build up. In Jamaica the crowd would have thrown stones and bottles.’
Mr. Mattutie said: ‘We lost $30,000 from this. When the contracts were signed Cocoa Tea was paid 50 per cent upfront and the balance was supposed to be paid before he performed but we didn’t have it.
‘I paid $2,500 on promotion but what happened was beyond our control, the country is bankrupt. I worked for 12 weeks without pay on this.
‘We needed 2,000 people to break even and got about 225. The talk on the road was good but people just did not come.’