This story first appeared in THE NEWS newspaper of St. Vincent in March 2012 on the failure of “Mr. Matrix” to keep his obligations to Vincentians in connection with a show involving top Jamaican reggae artiste, Jah Cure.
Mr. Matrix has now surfaced in the Spice Isle and was able to work out an arrangement with the Arthur Hosten-led Spice Mas Corporation to use his Fun City place along the Maurice Bishop highway as this year’s venue for Carnival city.
Weeks after Jamaican artiste Barrington Levy came on stage at Victoria Park and told adoring fans he was performing although he was not paid by the promoter, yet another artiste has ended up in the same predicament but this time the fans are the ones who suffered.
On Saturday March 10th, hundreds of Vincentians gathered at the Victoria Park expecting to see reggae superstar Siccature ‘Jah Cure’ Alcock live in a concert dubbed ‘Irresistible temptation’, but he never appeared.
Another artiste Trinidadian Orlando Octave who was also scheduled to perform didn’t hit the stage either.
Confirmed reports are that the Trinidadian promoter, Osron ‘Mr. Matrix’ Dennis of Matrix Music Group failed to pay Jah Cure and his band their fee causing the entertainer and his entourage to refuse to perform.
Vincentians did not take the disappointment sitting down as some patrons at the show had to scamper for safety as angry persons began pelting bottles while reports also state that loud explosions at the venue were gunshots from angry patrons who were upset that they paid as much as EC$50 and were only able to see performances by local artistes.
In a tweet on Sunday, February 11th, Jah Cure wrote: “St. Vincent I’m sorry for everything that happened tonight due to the lack of organization on the part of the promoters who have been giving nothing but excuses! I look forward to returning to deliver great music in a show by a legitimate promoter some time soon. Jah live!!”
He further wrote on Twitter, “…the Promoter failed to meet his contractual obligations so I could not perform. Sorry St. Vincent, I shall return; I’m super disappointed.”
On Monday morning, (March) 12th, Jah Cure’s Manager called in on Hot 97.1 FM’s morning program, ‘What does get me vex’ and explained to the host Chris ‘2 Cool Chris’ Jones that they never received the money that they were promised by the promoter.
“We didn’t even receive 50% of our fee like we usually do when we are doing shows overseas but we trusted the promoter and we decided to come to St. Vincent even though we didn’t get the 50%; we know how business is in the Caribbean so we wanted to give him a chance”, said the Manager.
He added that on the night of the show when it was time for the promoter to pay them he arrived with, “a box of paper” and gave a number of excuses why he couldn’t make his contractual obligations including that a huge amount of counterfeit tickets had been sold by an underground runner. No evidence of counterfeit tickets was provided.
“There is a general principle when performing that the artiste must be paid 50% when asked to do a show and he was not paid; the deposit is 50% of the agreed performance; we did not receive as must as 50% as a matter of fact up to this point we have not received 50%. I don’t think that we need any further explanation”, the Manager said.
He added, “this means that even if he had performed we would have performed on less than 50% of the performance fee which I could not have professionally allowed my artiste to do”.
The Manager also revealed that from the beginning, they had problems with Mr. Matrix and had initially cancelled the performance from Jamaica because the promoter was not meeting the contractual obligations.
“He came back sometime later begging for a new date and telling us he was having challenges with the Vincentian Government and the people and licenses and all sorts of excuses”, said Jah Cure’s Manager.
“We understand that there can be challenges, we are from the Caribbean we know how it is so we are prepared to work with a promoter who can be honest with us; he (Mr. Matrix) kept calling and he kept speaking to us so we felt well at least he was communicating this time so we will see if we can work with him seeing that it was a new territory for him so we wanted to see if we could help him make this happen”.
“You have an artiste who has turned down other performances to be here and the artiste is dressed and ready to go and this promoter now turns up at the hotel at 1.45 in the morning with a box full of paper and an excuse”, said the Manager.
He added, “what were we expected to do at this time when I have a band and other persons waiting to be paid; we cannot do that; people have left their families and all his payments were late”.
The Manager went on: “I don’t understand why he is putting out a BB broadcast saying we received US$15,000; he wanted Jah Cure to come by himself but that was not in the best interest of the artiste and persons would have wondered why the equipment was set up and the band was not there and the artiste was performing on track; what would we have said to Vincentians?”
“We don’t have a problem with St. Vincent at all and I am sure St. Vincent has no problem with us but what we will do next time is ensure that the next promoter operates by the book”.
On Sunday morning a Blackberry Messenger broadcast began making the rounds. The message was said to have originated from the promoter Mr. Matrix.
It stated verbatim, “Dear Patrons of Svg, Matrix Music Group would like to apologise for the (n)on appearance of (J)ah Cure yesterday at Victoria Park. Despite the fact he was paid 15000us he decided he is not go(ing) on stage.
Even if he was to make a performance of 20 to 30 mins he couldn’t due to the fact the drinks were sold (i)n bottles at the park which would (have been) unsafe to him and his band. So I am truly sorry for him letting down his fans.
“Along with that it came to our attention that over 2000 patrons purchased early bird tickets which were Fake from underground runners, at the cost of under 40 dollars And we do apologise for that. At this point we are working (vigorously) to heel the situation.
“In compensation (for our) unsatisfied patrons, Matrix Music group is setting up a charity show at no cost to u our patrons. Plz login to hot 97 as Mr Matrix would be giving his side of the story pertaining to yesterday. (Tune in) to Cool Chris segment. Again we do truly apologise for the inconvenience”.
Up to press time, calls to Mr. Matrix’s phone have been going to voicemail while his Blackberry Messenger messages are not being delivered.