KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – One opposition lawmaker says there is a need for regulations here after a Jamaican artiste refused to perform here on Saturday because a show organiser failed to meet his contractual obligations to the singer.
Thousands of Vincentians left the Victoria Park irate Sunday morning after it became known that Jah Cure would not be performing.
Patrons had paid EC$50 each to see the artiste, and promoter Mr. Matrix has since said he paid Jah Cure US$15,000 as a deposit but was unable to make the final payment after 2,000 bogus tickets were collected at the gate.
Jah Cure, in a tweet Sunday morning, apologised to his fans and explained that he did not perform at the “Irresistible Temptation” concert because the promoter did not meet his contractual obligations.
The angry patrons pelted the stage with bottles and police fired gunshot into the air in an attempt to restore order at the sports and entertainment venue.
Opposition lawmaker and Central Kingstown representative St. Clair Leacock, a fan of Jah Cure, who was at the show, said that at 3 a.m. on Sunday he thought, “things weren’t looking right”.
“I saw trouble coming, and so said so done. The artiste never performed. There was more bottle-pelting in the Park than you could have had. Police had to come and shoot off shots to take back control of the Park and so forth and a lot of patron didn’t get what they paid for,” Leacock said on radio on Monday.
Leacock, the shadow minister for trade, industry and commerce, said that if the promoter was ripped off, as is being alleged, “there is a need for tighter regulations in this thing”.
“… promoters cannot be allowed to put on a show and speculate that if they sell enough tickets or they collect enough money they will pay the artiste and people will get their show. When a person leaves their home and go to the Park, they must be guaranteed that they will get what they pay for,” Leacock said.
Leacock said that to the extent that the VAT unit has to collect value-added tax on the tickets, they should ask to see the contract between the promoter and the artiste.
He further suggested that they could offer to have the remaining 50 per cent owed to the artiste lodge with the Unit to try “to make sure that patrons are not left like this”.
“So we need to do these regulatory things to make sure that patrons are not left like this. And people could be exposed to all sorts of things because when you have to have bottle pelting and police have to resort order by taking strong positions, then something is not right,” he said.