Promoters of the Slingerz Caribbean Summer Jam yesterday rejected assertions by Jamaican dancehall artiste Mavado that they are to blame for his no-show on Saturday and said statements by the artiste to this effect were false and malicious.
Slingerz Family Entertain-ment also apologised to the public for the artiste’s no-show at Providence where he was slated to appear along with fellow Jamaican entertainer Tommy Lee. Mavado, popularly known as “the Gully God’ on Sunday blamed Slingerz for his no-show at the concert and slammed the arrangements made for him including a 19-hour flight from Jamaica to Guyana in a cramped small plane with no bathroom. He has since made other arrangements for a concert and was scheduled to perform last night.
Yesterday, Slingerz, in a statement, said that statements made by and attributed to Mavado regarding the events that led to his non-performance are false and malicious. The entertainment outfit outlined the events leading up to the concert and also noted the agreement entered into with Mavado.
Slingerz said that all the necessary arrangements for Mavado and his 14-member entourage to travel from Jamaica to Guyana via Caribbean Airlines were made and paid for by the Slingerz family Entertainment Group including funds sent to the artiste’s management team to facilitate travel from his residence in Jamaica to the airport.
“Whilst it was agreed that Slingerz Family would fund the cost associated with the travel of the artiste and his entourage to the Jamaican airport where they were expected to board the same flight upon which Tommy Lee travelled, it was incumbent on the artiste management team to make the arrangements for their transport to the airport,” the statement said.
It said that earlier communications were received from the artiste management team that everyone had checked in online and everything was in place for them to travel. However, upon checking with the airline to determine whether the artiste and his entourage had arrived at the airport and checked in to travel, Slingerz Family learnt that they had not, the statement said.
“Contact was then made with the artiste(‘s) manager who indicated that the bus they had enlisted to transport them to the airport arrived late and as such they missed the flight. He indicated that “God ain’t coming and if y’all want God fuh come you have to send a private jet for he.” After expressing the view that this was likely to put the Slingerz Family Entertain-ment group in an embarrassing position as they had established a reputation of always delivering on their promise to bring artiste(s) to these shores, Slingerz Family promise(d) to do all within their power to ensure the artiste arrived in Guyana,” the statement said.
It added that the chartering of a private jet at that ninth hour appeared prohibitive in terms of accessibility and cost, but “in an effort not to disappoint its Guyanese fan base, Slingerz Family sought to make every possible effort to ensure the artiste arrived, which would be at an additional cost to Slingerz Family, through no fault of theirs.”
The statement said that after “great endeavours” Slingerz enlisted the help of a private local aircraft to travel to Jamaica to transport the artiste and his team. “The specifications of the aircraft and the flight schedule were communicated to and accepted by the artiste and his management team,” the statement said.
“The flight departed Guyana and arrived in Jamaica, where, Slingerz Family learnt, the artiste made several objections to the type of aircraft, having already been apprised of the specifications of the aircraft before it travelled. Slingerz Family were also informed by the flight officials that when the flight stopped in Curacao for refuelling, as was discussed and agreed upon between the parties, the artiste began to behave in an untoward manner complaining bitterly about various matters whilst proclaiming that he is “the god’ and demanded that he be taken back to Jamaica. This caused the flight to be delayed in Curacao for three hours before the artiste was persuaded to rejoin and to continue the journey,” the statement said.
It said that the delay caused the flight to enter Guyana’s airspace after 6pm on Saturday. Slingerz received communications from officials at the Ogle International airport that because of international regulations the plane would not be permitted to land and as such the plane was redirected to Trinidad, the entity said. This caused a further delay as endeavours were made to get clearance from the relevant local authority for the plane to land, Slingerz said.
It said that after eventually acquiring permission, the plane landed at Ogle at approximately 11:45pm. “After clearing immigration, a process that took some time due to the lateness of the hour and the fact that the flight was unscheduled, Movado and his entourage were met by officials from the Slingerz Family and transported to the Princess hotel, arriving there at approximately 01:20 hours. There Movado occupied the Presidential suite as per request and his entourage other rooms,” the statement said. Mavado had said that no one had met him.
“At the hotel, after refreshing themselves, the artiste management was asked to have his band attend the stadium to tune their instruments. It had been explained to Mavado that he would appear on stage before Tommy Lee as, based on past experience, Slingerz Family Promotions had concerns about the restlessness of the crowd when Tommy Lee, who has developed a wide and impressionable fan base, appeared,” the statement said. “At that point, Mavado and his entourage objected vehemently stating that he was the “superstar” and insisted that he headlined the show,” it added.
The statement said that all this time, Slingerz was hard-pressed since they had been given a stipulated time by the police regarding when the show should conclude. At their request, the police were even kind enough to extend the time a bit longer, the statement said.
“Nevertheless, word was sent to the Tommy Lee camp asking whether they would facilitate the promoters by appearing first and they readily agreed. Tommy Lee took the stage a little after 2am. Mavado then expressed his reluctance to perform nevertheless stating that he felt Slingerz Family Entertainment disrespected him by seemingly promoting Tommy Lee and Gaza over him. At the conclusion of Tommy Lee’s performance and whilst still discussing with a Slingerz Family representative whether he would perform, Mavado indicated that the present show was Tommy Lee’s show and maybe Slingerz family should hold a show the next day, which would be the Mavado show,” the statement said.
A short while after, word was received that the police had called an end to the show, the statement said.
Slingerz said that its “deepest regret in all of this, notwithstanding the substantial financial losses and public image damage involved is that the local fans were cheated of an opportunity to experience all that they were promised.”
The entity vowed to ensure that “a repeat of this unfortunate situation does not reoccur” by enlisting artistes in the future who are cognizant of their responsibility to the public as much as their own financial well-being.”
Slingerz also denied owing Mavado the sums he has alleged in his statements or any sum at all. “Slingerz Family Entertainment has honoured all financial obligations to the artiste in accordance with the agreement and the artiste’s inability to perform was in no way due to the fault of Slingerz Family Entertainment. We have experienced considerable difficulty with the particular artiste regarding flight arrangements, being forced to change same on several occasions. We regret the inconvenience caused to our fans,” it said.