Plug pulled on Ludacris gig
A cash crisis has led to one of the biggest international music concerts in the Eastern Cape to be postponed indefinitely.
The Mbay Megafest, planned for the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium this Saturday which boasted headline acts including US R&B; singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, rapper and actor Ludacris, reggae hit artist Shaggy and Jamaican reggae star Proteje, has been called off amid the performers still being owed millions by organisers.
Sama-winning soul house trio Mi Casa was also billed to perform alongside fellow South African acts Shoelace Rockazsoul, Bucie, Eltonnick and Naak MusiQ.
Music industry insiders say about 4000 of the 36000 tickets available had been sold.
Yesterday stadium management company Access said the event had been postponed indefinitely.
"The Mbay Megafest, which was scheduled for June 2 at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, has been postponed due to operational challenges," said Access spokesman Buli G Ngomane.
"The stadium operator will, after consultation with the client, add a new concert date to our lineup once confirmed."
Meanwhile, Uitenhage-based organisers Zeranza dodged calls from the man tasked with bringing the US stars to the country, Florida-based entertainment attorney Lloyd Stanbury.
Zeranza had, by last week, failed to pay millions of rands to the four international artists in their second payment.
They were paid 50% of their performance fees as a deposit in March, and the rest was due last week.
Plane tickets had also not been booked, said Stanbury.
Repeated attempts since Friday last week to reach Zeranza spokesman, Rukshane Abrahams, or CEO and Abrahams' mother, Andrea Wessels, failed.
"I should have been in the Bay 10 days before the event [May 23], according to my contract. This has passed and I am still waiting here," a frustrated Stanbury said from his office in Florida.
"I have still had no contact whatsoever from either Andrea or any member of the Zeranza staff about either the payment of the balance of my fees, or the travel arrangements for my next trip to the Bay."
The Johannesburg stage and lighting company tasked with setting up the stage at the Bay stadium this week, Mushroom Productions, had also not been paid its full fee.
"I have a deposit, which was made a month ago. The rest of the payment has not been made," said company spokesman, Graham Cunningham. "I spoke to Andrea on Saturday and she didn't tell me about the postponement."
Andrew Binning, head of Bay events company Inkanyezi, which was helping with the promotion of the show, said they had been paid timeously by Zeranza.
Inkanyezi got involved in the project "because we wanted to support local talent [Zeranza]", said Binning.