Promoters consider clause to cut artistes' sets
Following the unsatisfactory ending to recently staged overseas-based shows, Best of The Best and Groovin' In The Park, due to conflicting views on time schedules between artistes and event organisers, some promoters are now of the view that there should be a clause in contracts which stipulates that the organiser reserves the right to adjust the performance times for artistes, in the event that certain obligations associated with the smooth flowing of the event's activities are not being met.
Singer Dexta Daps perhaps best set this school of thinking in motion in May of this year. The artiste, who arrived at Best of The Best late, still decided that he was going to play his full set, despite an emotional plea from the event's manager, Jabba, who braced himself for a blistering yet inevitable tongue, lashing from fans of Mavado, who eventually did not get a piece of the action.
Groovin' In the Park
A similar issue also came to a head at Groovin' In the Park last month, when promoters were forced to take decisive action after Busy Signal refused to leave the stage, arguing that his debut performance in the US was being cut short to facilitate closing act, R. Kelly.
"If mi can't perform, R. Kelly can't perform," a seemingly disappointed Busy Signal belted out before making his exit. Hundreds of disgruntled patrons also made their exit with Busy Signal.
Event promoter Fabian Lawless, known for his work on parties like 90s Recall and Marco Polo, told The Gleaner that promoters should reserve the right to reduce the set of an artiste if the success of the event is about to be compromised.
"As a promoter, I believe we need this clause because unforeseen situations can occur, whether it may be acts of God or otherwise. Promoters might be forced to take a calculated action in the interest of time. Fans want to see the artistes, so we hope to get a compromise, but if we can't get that, we will be forced to cut the set. A clause has to be in place so that the promoter can protect patrons, venue and even the artistes themselves. DJs and artistes need to understand that promoters have to bare the brunt of the cost, whether it might be lawsuits or damage to brands," he said.
The promoter said artistes are sometimes unreasonable and should be mindful that they could potentially damage the same industry they stand to benefit from.
"Once you realise the show is running late, the human in you should compromise. However, some of them are selfish and are little divas ... at the same time, I know they want to give a good representation of themselves, but you have to be reasonable," he said.
When contacted Jabba, who contemplated ending the Best of The Best series following the Dexta Daps controversy, noted that he is in full support of such a contractual clause. The DJ, who also vowed never to play another Dexta Daps song, however, back-pedalled at the recently concluded BRT Weekend, and played Daps' Shabba Madda Pot.
MC Nuffy, however, feels that promoters have more than enough time to manage their sets. He says they should employ competent stage managers and also break the news to the artistes in a respectful manner.
"I have been the one to cut sets as a part of my MC duties, but what I usually do is find a respectful way to do it. If you approach the artistes in a negative manner, then it is a recipe for disaster," he warned.