New Generation Entertainment (NGE) Incorporated, organizers of H2O Wet Fete Luau Edition, has confirmed that failure to reach an agreement with artistes’ management on the quota of passes for performers resulted in the pull-out of Ricky T and Stratosphere Muzic performers Ambi, Marie-Anne and Mongstar from the event, which was held at Samaan’s Park on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
NGE said in a press release that last-minute demands from the artistes’ management for an additional 17 passes, which would bring their total allotment to 27 passes, could not be delivered.
The company said that it had initially allotted a total of eight passes – two for each artiste – along with two VIP tickets to Stratosphere Muzic’s management.
NGE sought to give its account of negotiations which it said were conducted with artistes’ management prior to the show.
“On Thursday, June 27 at approximately 3:45 p.m. in the afternoon we went in to the studios of Stratosphere Muzic to have a brief meeting with Courtney “Curty” Louis and Ricky T. At that meeting we confirmed the possibility of Ricky T closing Wet Fete on Sunday, June 30 2013. During this time, the only mention that was made about passes to the event was when Curty mentioned that he would personally require two VIP passes to attend the event. We responded and told him that all passes will be ready for collection between Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 2013,” the company said.
“We had initially contacted Carmy Joseph on Thursday to finalize the number of passes their camp would require. She indicated that Courtney “Curty” Louis would be doing so directly. We then contacted him and he indicated he required all the artistes on one contract as we had already issued separate contracts. We told him that this is no problem and he should give us the number of passes so that we may sort out their allotment. This process was stalled for almost two days. Since we were willing to engage a total of four artistes from his camp to perform at the show, we had taken it on our own and prepared a total of eight passes (two per artiste – which is what we did for almost all of our other artist) bearing in mind that he, as one of the artistes’ manager, was already promised two VIP passes,” the release stated.
It continued, “On the morning of the event at approximately 11:45 am, less than two hours before the show starts, he came to the venue and indicated to us that after the allocation we made on our own of two backstage passes for each artiste was not sufficient and that he would require a further 17 passes. So this would mean that their total pass requirement was 27.”
NGE said that following this, attempts were made to continue negotiations in the interest of preserving the reputation of the show. In that regard, the company said it offered to provide seven additional passes instead of the 17 that were requested, but that offer was refused by the artistes’ management.
“At this point in time they responded by not accepting it and say that we were disrespectful to them,” the release said.
“After he left the venue, our production manager tried negotiating with him further, even suggesting that he would take it on his own to break security arrangements and allow him to walk in the additional persons ‘if they were genuinely part of a presentation’, but they didn’t agree,” the release said.
However, in a statement in response to NGE’s release on July 4, 2013, Stratosphere Muzic said that it never requested 27 passes from the company.
Stratosphere Muzic also accused the company of attempting to mislead the public in posting a Facebook message stating that all artistes would be performing hours after they were informed of the pull-out.
With regards to the issue of formal contracts between artistes and the NGE, the organisation said while it usually ensures that it receives permission from managers of every artiste before posting their names on flyers and radio ads, immense pressure from a heavy workload associated with transforming Samaan’s Park into a Hawaiian atmosphere left them to proceed without formally signing contracts.
“Considering that we had a personal relationship with all of the artistes on the shows line up and their managers, an issue was never made about the signing of a formal contract with any of the advertised artist on the show,” NGE said.
Stratosphere Muzic in response to this statement said, “While we do not wish to contribute to this issue festering in the public domain we need to also point out unprofessional and irresponsible statements such as ‘organizers were under immense pressure’ and ‘really had a heavy workload’ as well as quoting a production manager who was willing to breach security protocol and allow ‘additional persons if they were genuinely part of a presentation’, give an indication of why this event continues year after year to be plagued with problems…”
Stratosphere Muzic further said it will be sticking to its previous media statement.