Dancehall artiste Mavado and the organisers of Reggae Sumfest are both sending mixed messages as it relates to the circumstances surrounding Mavado’s exclusion from the line-up. Mavado’s manager Julian Jones Griffiths believes the organisers are playing games, while a member of the Sumfest organising team, Robert Russell, says they were informed that the artiste was unavailable.
According to Russell, an attempt was made to book the artiste for the world renowned reggae festival. However, they were informed that Mavado could not perform due to other contractual obligations.
“We were told that he would not be available for Sumfest, and that is why we did not book him. There is no grouse between the organisers and the artiste because we try our best to get a complete line-up as much as possible each year,” he said.
Russell also said it was not too late for Mavado to be added to the show. However, technicalities relating to the time slots scheduled for the performers would have to be adjusted, provided that a favourable decision is shared between Mavado and Sumfest organisers.
Griffiths, who seemingly wants a share of the Sumfest festivity, says Mavado is available for the event. He also disclosed that he and the organisers of the festival were already doing negotiations prior to their decision to exclude Mavado from the line-up.
“I have an email where we agreed to their offer over a month ago. Mavado has a show in LA, the day after Sumfest’s dancehall night, and I was delaying booking the flights to LA because we weren’t sure if he was flying from Jamaica or not. We thought he was going to appear at Sumfest but it wasn’t confirmed as yet. That delay ended up costing the LA promoter more money because the flight cost went up”, Griffiths said.
He says there was a breakdown in communication with the organisers of Sumfest, and despite sending several e-mails confirming Mavado’s position on the show, all his emails went unanswered. According to Griffiths, Mavado’s fans are disappointed.
“They playing games. I maintain what I am saying is fact. Perhaps, Mr Russell isn’t aware of what happened. A lot of his (Mavado’s) fans are asking how comes he’s not on Sumfest, and they should know it’s no fault of ours. A lot of Mavado’s fans have been communicating via social media, especially to his Twitter account. They are sharing their displeasure at him not being on this year’s Sumfest”, Griffiths said.
He says Mavado would still perform at the event if the opportunity was given because the artiste hasn’t performed at Sumfest since 2011. However, his travelling plans would also have to be modified.
Sumfest recently hosted their Beach Party, an event which Russell says was well attended. “This might be the best one yet,” he said.