The Arthur Hosten-led Spicemas Corporation has been seeking to distance itself from the man known as Mr. Matrix and who goes by several other names – Osron Dennis, as well as Osron King.
The Vincentian-born promoter was engaged in discussions with the corporation on hosting this year’s Carnival city event at a new venue in the south of the island known as Fun City on the Maurice Bishop highway.
Last week, THE NEW TODAY carried an article in which it made reference to King’s involvement in March 2012 in a failed show in neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines in which over 6, 000 patrons paid their monies to attend one of his promotions featuring top Jamaican reggae artiste, Jah Cure.
The event ended in riot as patrons pelted bottles and stones and fired gunshots into the air after Jah Cure never appeared due to contractual disagreements with King over money.
King soon slipped into the Spice Isle and was operating out of Fun City.
In the wake of last week’s article, the Hosten outfit that is charged with managing this year’s carnival, issued the following release on the controversial promoter:
“The Spicemas Corporation would like to make it clear that Osron Dennis, featured in the article headlined “THE NEW SPICEMAS PROMOTER” on Page 24 in the Friday, June 7, 2013 edition of The New Today newspaper, is not in any way associated with the Spicemas Corporation’s event.
“Mr. Dennis is not the owner of Fun City and has played no role in either the planning or promoting of the forthcoming ‘Carnival City’ event to take place there every Thursday starting 13 June 2013 until Thursday, 26 July 2013.
“Mr. Dennis failure to deliver as a promoter in whatever part of the world has nothing to do with the Spicemas, the venue or our event.
“In the spirit of carnival and as we celebrate our national culture and heritage, the owner of Fun City, Wallace Harvey, very kindly offered the venue for free because, as a businessman, he recognises the benefits for himself and fully supports the integrity of Spicemas 2013 and one of the reasons that his offer was accepted was because the previous venue on the Lagoon Road, generated a lot of traffic which the Traffic Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force deemed to be somewhat disruptive to the general public”.
THE NEW TODAY was also furnished with an article about Mr. Matrix which appeared in the Friday, March 16, 2012 issue of The Searchlight newspaper in St. Vincent on the failed Jah Cure concert in which patrons were duped of their money.
Kingstown, St. Vincent — Promoter of the ‘Irresistible Temptation’ show which was held at the Victoria Park last Saturday evening says his intention was never to scam anyone.
Mr. Matrix, the man who promoted the event, which was supposed to headline Jamaican Reggae Artiste Jah Cure, says he will find a way to make it up to Vincentians for what transpired.
Matrix, however, admitted that finding money to reimburse persons who turned up to hear Jah Cure is going to be difficult.
“The thing is that we don’t have records for all those who purchased tickets,” Matrix told SEARCHLIGHT in a telephone interview on Tuesday evening.
“To just pay out money, anybody could go to an outlet and say that they bought a ticket although they didn’t,” Matrix said.
He was reacting to the no-show by Jah Cure, whose real name is Siccature Alcock.
Patrons who were anxiously waiting for the performance of the renowned artiste were left disappointed, after Jah Cure failed to take the stage at the Victoria Park.
Jah Cure later explained, via the social medium Twitter, that he failed to perform because the “promoter failed to meet his contractual obligations.”
He also issued a release which indicated that he “was not paid the full deposit and the promoter had been promoting the show months in advance even without us having an agreement.”
“I love my fans in St Vincent, that is why I came to the show in the first place without my full deposit. When I realized that the promoter was unwilling to pay me the rest of my performance fee, I took the agonizingly difficult decision not to perform,” Cure said in the release.
He added that he was willing to return to St Vincent to perform, but for a legitimate promoter.
“I love St Vincent, it is a beautiful island with warm loving people, and I will return some time in the near future.”
A member of Jah Cure’s management team, in an interview on Hot FM, said that the general principle for performances was that the artiste is paid a deposit up front, and that amount is usually 50 per cent of the total appearance fee.
He did not disclose what the amount was, but said that this money was to be paid by February 27. He however claimed that up to the night of the show, the team did not receive this amount.
“As a professional, I could not allow my artiste to perform,” the member of Cure’s management said.
But Matrix claims he paid $12,000 to the government for VAT; $9,000 for the use of the Victoria Park; $9,000, for the sound, stage and lighting; $10,000 for the flight arrangements; $5,600 for pocket money; $5,300 for the police and $9,000 for hotel accommodation.
He said he also had a receipt for US$15,000 (EC$40,350) that was paid to Jah Cure.
He, however, admitted that the artiste was supposed to be paid the remaining amount of US$40,000 before going on stage, but since none of the sponsors came forward to assist in the expenses, Matrix said that he was forced to foot the bill.
“So I had to come up with the other US$40,000,” which he said was dependent on door sales.
The promoter, who resides in Trinidad and Tobago, but claims to be Vincentian by birth, said he printed 3,000 tickets, 1,000 of which were supposed to be early bird tickets to be sold at a price of $40 each.
The remaining 2,000 were to be sold for $50 each, giving a total income from tickets of EC$140,000.
Matrix, however, said that he subsequently found out that 2,000 early bird tickets were “copied and sold as bogus tickets”.
“Forty per cent of the people in Park came in on bogus tickets,” Matrix told SEARCHLIGHT, adding that he understood that persons paid as low as $20 or $25 for a ticket.
The promoter contended that if everyone in possession of a ticket had bought a legitimate ticket, it would have been enough to pay Jah Cure and allow for a profit.
“I didn’t come here to scam anybody. That was not my intention,” Matrix said.
“This whole thing that played down wasn’t my intention at all,” he continued, saying that the next step was to try to organise the rest of the payment for the artiste and try to arrange for a charity concert for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
On Saturday evening, after waiting for hours, frustrated fans began throwing bottles. Matrix said he was not at the Victoria Park when the melee began, but at the hotel with the artiste.
According to the promoter, he pleaded with Jah Cure to perform at least for 15 minutes, but said that the artiste’s management refused, citing an endangerment to Jah Cure.
Mr. Matrix, who refused to give his real name when we enquired, said he has received numerous threats from all angles, but apologised for what took place.
He, however, claimed that he has not left the country, and is still in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I’m sorry for what took place and I am working feverishly to fix the situation because Matrix Music Group is more than entertainment and we are not going to let one show let us down,” Matrix said.
“Whatever we have to do to fix the situation, we are going to do it and I am just asking patrons to bear with me.”
Meanwhile Anthony Dennie, Marketing Manager of the National Lotteries Authority, the entity responsible for the maintenance of the Victoria Park, said that cleaning up the broken bottles proved to be an expensive task.
Ground staff was kept busy all day Sunday and into Monday removing debris, Dennie said.
One game in the inter-club football championship was also affected because of the condition of the playing area.
Matrix Music Group organised the show in collaboration with Carib Beer and Hot 97.1 FM. It also received sponsorship from Rent and Drive, The Vincentian newspaper, LIME, and Aeropost.