I had settled to write on something different other than what you are reading now; the development which came in the wake of the failed Jos concert redirected my thoughts. What you are reading therefore is independent of any thoughts you may have read about the ‘Jos Chillin’ Mega Fiesta with Davido Live’.

I know how it feels to be disappointed at a concert. I used to be a concert freak given the nature of my assignment as a Reporter. Gradually with decreasing number of such initiatives in these parts as a result of the dearth of sponsors, it was obvious that the enthusiasm would be expected if one came up.

It is therefore understandable that the frenzy which came with it meant that we are used to celebrating talents in the city of Jos. The expectation of a failure was not part of the bargain, fans assumed it would live to its billing, therefore the fees were categorized. Davido like many in his category is talented; and could be a crowd puller any day. Some fans think he should not have been empowered. It is a discussion for another day.

A big concert such as the one that failed takes time to be planned. I attended Benson and Hedges Concerts in several Nigerian cities as an Entertainment Reporter for years back in the day. It was mixture of up-coming, who were being exposed and big acts in the industry that put a stamp on the concert.

Without doubt, the ads for the programme had been on for a period, meaning, if anyone wanted to attend; such a freak had ample time to plan towards it. I am told the concert was billed for December 7, 2019, but the promoters allegedly shifted it for December 1, the date PRTVC for years, has held its Jos Christmas Tree Lighting programme. If that is the case, the organizers underestimated the turn-out expected at both events, and they as the fans paid dearly for it.

Let us get it right: The state government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality may have been involved given the tourism related angle. But it should be stated that, he was not to perform at the Christmas Tree Lighting Programme. Several people had the impression the two programmes were related, yet far from each other. I understand, the initiative is tourism, human capital related by Mees Palace and Buckwyld Media.

When it failed, a couple of concert freaks alleged the promoters bandied the big act’s name and tied the event to lure fans to attend. Whatever there was to give confidence to the fans and to ‘avoid unsuspecting and innocent members of the public from been scammed in the name of the Christmas tree show’.

Talking about being scammed, a number of music buffs who attended the fiesta think it was a programme that was planned to fail. But the planners who have explained severally think otherwise, they have told the world they had put everything in place to ensure it became one of the biggest shows to end the year.

His coming to play may not be considered as a scam. I am not too sure if those who were at Mee’s Palace were all fans of Davido. Many may have come to catch some fun. We are aware that in the past, the platform has provided a voice for all shades of acts to perform. It has brought both up-coming, local acts such as Jeremiah Gyang, Dr. Smith, Ahmed Shanawa, TJ Manari etc. Last week’s was supposed to feature: Classiq, Faze, Shanawa, Dr. Smith, Atela, and Style Plus

The fact that it was apparent the town was going to be filled to the brim was a call to provide sufficient security, bring in Road Safety officials and any other logistics needed to take care of all the fronts.

No need to go into those details, but we are however aware that it was a massive clash, hence the heavy traffic hold-up as both venues share the same location. The fact that cannot be glossed over is the attachment the PRTVC Christmas programme has had on residents and indeed those outside who have identified with it over the years. The governor was going to grace the event, as well as several important dignitaries.

The fact that an event of that magnitude was underway in the city was noticeable on November 28, 2019 as the buildup was massive to ignore. Herein lays the frustration of motorists and fun seekers who had wanted to have a good time during the weekend.

If you were entering or driving out of the city on that weekend, you would wish there was an alternative to driving or even trekking, flying out without being caught in traffic sounded the only way out. Those who trekked may have arrived their destinations ahead of those driving or had boarded commercial vehicles. Such are the frustrations that come in the wake of such events.

Either way, there was problem in the city without anyone knowing the genesis of it. Each person you met on the way and asked about what was happening couldn’t tell you anything tangible. But eventually when the root was identified; just a few appreciated the importance of a certain David Adedeji Adeleke Davido who had a show to perform in the city.

To be fair to all, the questions to ask are: Did he confirm the date of the event? Was Davido paid his appearance fees by the organizers in full? Had he another event on the same day? How was he to kill many birds with a stone? Some people (who may not know) have argued to the effect that he was paid half of his appearance fees.  And that since his father owns a private jet, it is easy to traverse the land attending to events without caring.

Again in businesses such as this, the image of an act matters. While the organizers are aware they may be labeled if they fail, any act invited for an event would not joke with the terms and conditions attached to his or her appearance. In this case, the act played on them. The organizers are aware a brand name has been created; therefore they would want more grounds to be conquered using same.

When concerts fail to hold, it is the fans that suffer; therefore to complain is not a crime. They have a right to be told what actually happened; and if possible apologize to them through a medium they can appreciate. They should not be taken for granted. If apologizing could douse the palpable tension arising from the initiative, it is the right thing to encourage, while they try to settle their accounts with the act.

The expected chains of reaction are obvious. The organizers must cushion the pains of the fans. Like it or not, the event left in its wake a battered brand whose image must be salvaged. To take it for granted is to imagine that nothing happened. In the final analysis, considering the scenario, the organizers may be seen to have failed those who trooped to have fun; Davido’s image may, for several reasons to the fans can be seen spiraling down the ladder.

A lesson has been learnt the hard way, but truth is that trust as a burden can only find expression if the organizers and the act, Davido are able to explain and or apologize. Bigger acts than him would have no alternative than to go that way, after all, the people are his support base.

There is no denying the fact that the initiative has done great things. Every act is in the industry would like to make money, which is why it is advocated here like in football; sponsor local young acts and give them a platform to blossom, and you can be sure, Plateau will continue to lay a strangle hold on the industry.

To renege on the terms of any contractual agreement is a breach. I have read of reports and comments, but particularly a post made by one Otunba Ufuoma Surface Dogun on December 2, 2019. Even though it was instructive, yet I feel the bottom line is that Davido planned to fail to attend the concert; pray tell me ‘Emmanuel Adukwu went over and above to ensure this man came as contractually agreed and the man defaulted, as he has done severally to other people.

‘No expense was spared to ensure that he came to perform. The man obviously accepted another booking in Lagos for Zenith Bank and was trying to kill all the birds with a single stone. This is extremely unprofessional and shouldn’t be justified by anyone that feels the need to be silly’.

If the young act is in that habit, by reason of what he displayed and the reaction of Dogun would appear that the Davido team played a fast one on the promoters of the show. Read again these lines: Just for the purposes of clearing the air and providing further information into efforts made to get him to come to Jos, even at extra cost outside what was originally agreed (and paid for) in the contract he signed, Davido and his team did not communicate travel challenges to any member of our team until 6pm on show day. They first claimed that they didn’t have fund for fueling his father’s jet, despite signing a contract that states clearly that he was supposed to take care of his logistics. We had a meeting and decided to concede by sending the money to fuel the jet’.

The deed has been done. Davido did not need magic to manage several shows in a day. The promoters know what is right to do in order to preserve their integrity; and return the trust of the Jos fans on such initiatives.

Categories: Column

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