To be honest, where do I start? We as black people must learn how to handle our business. It is imperative that we learn to work together diligently for the betterment of our people. As far as concerts and promoters, we seem to keep going down the same road, repeating the same cycles. Professional common courtesy business ethics is not hard to learn, as I hence “common courtesy”.
On the other hand, educating yourself in any specific industry/business will take time to master. Of course, you will always make mistakes and have pitfalls in any business, so there is always going to be a learning curve through trial and error. No matter what industry or businesses that we encounter, my question is are we taking out the time to read or educate ourselves on our future business endeavors?
Not to beat up or bash anyone, I will just give my opinion on my experience at the LA Soul Music Festival and what was shared with us from others. I will attempt to keep this as short as possible.
Tickets for the LA Soul Music Festival ranged from $78 to $255 depending on the pricing packages/amenities for the dates of July 14 – 17. Unfortunately, Friday was a travel day for BlackCoffy.com, so we were unable to attend. A couple of fans we ran into expressed frustration about Friday’s concert. Allegedly all artists performed on Friday night. We were told that K. Michelle was not paid (It’s possible she only received a deposit.) We were told while performing on stage, K. Michelle asked for her money. A few minutes later, K. Michelle’s team cut her mic off and they exited the stage “allegedly”.
Jade Umbrella, I assume is a PR firm. Media was given instructions to show up at 2:30 pm in the media area backstage. The time was changed to 3:00 pm. The Concert start time was set for 5:15 pm. To my knowledge, I don’t think the concert started until closer to 6:30 pm. It was a lot of stalling, there was no D.J. present and at one point there were TV sitcom anthems playing, from Good Times to Family Matters, Cheers, Jeffersons etc. I was in utter disbelief; I think these shenanigans went on for about 10 minutes.
The media were given instructions on when to walk out and take pictures of Artists. We were given updates while waiting on the artist to perform. All of a sudden, we heard someone singing on stage, it was Avant. Jade Umbrella was not around to notify us or instruct us on our directions. Everyone in the media section ran out to catch the start of the Avant performance. Everything seemed unorganized, people running in all different directions. Total Chaos !
To sum it up, The Family Kindred Soul came on first. (great show! Wished they had more time) followed by Avant, great show as well. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to take pictures or see Doug E Fresh or Slick Rick. By this time, the media setup was unorganized. We stood in line for 35 minutes and counting. There was no rhyme or reason to the madness. After 7 hours of inconsistencies and confusion, I could not take it anymore. BJ the Chicago Kid was a no show. We were told Tyrese was not going to perform due to not getting compensated. Tyrese even posted his distained-on Instagram about the promoter not paying him his full amount owed. (Later he deleted it)
There were major celebrities attending this event. Jada Pinkett Smith, Howard Hewett and Michael Eric Dyson. This was an indication of how big this event was for celebrities as well. After leaving the concert, we were told Anthony Hamilton went on after finally receiving his performance fee. This is bad business, SMH. So, people were at this concert from 2:00 pm at the least, until 10:00 pm (8 hours) and only 3 artists performed. Wow! Anthony Hamilton was the 4th act which kind of redeemed the night.
Sunday, more unprofessionalism reared it’s evil head again. Sunday’s concert was cancelled an hour or two before the start time. We drove all the way to the concert only to see the signs read Concert Cancelled! What a disappointment. Of course, everyone was upset. There were over 200 facebook comments about refunds, long beverage lines, long general admission lines, long wait times between artists performance and people not showing up to perform etc.
As I stated at the beginning of this article/rant. Study your industry or business. There are experts such as accountants and financial advisors that will help you go through your numbers to make sure your business plan is viable. This information can be obtained easily before deciding to jump into a business venture without proper acknowledgement. By no means am I saying that experts in finance are perfect, but there’s that old saying, numbers never lie. Black people, we must learn to do business better. Educate, Execute and Communication is the key.