‘Bye-bye-oh’ Burna Boy?

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trinidadexpress.com /features/local/bye-bye-oh-burna-boy/article_1cc7cbea-7ccc-11ed-89e4-bbad8cdd9738.html

Michael Mondezie


trinidadexpress.com: Afrobeats fans may be forced to wave a premature “bye-bye-oh” to Nigerian superstar Burna Boy today.

Burna, real name Damini Ogulu, is scheduled to appear at O2 Park, Chaguaramas tonight, however, his performance is in jeopardy of being stopped by a High Court judge.

Michael Durham of Cash Money Brothers Promotions has sent a legal letter to the co-promoters of the chart-topping “Last, Last” singer’s concert to immediately cancel the show.

Attorney Marika Trim, acting on behalf of Cash Money Brothers, issued the pre-action protocol letter to Crystal Cunningham of Twisted Entertainment Barbados and copied co-promoters Jules Sobion (misspelt Sobian) of Caesars Army, Shaun Moses of SM Promotions, Nigerian promoter Osita Ugeh of Duke Concept and Bruna Boy’s representative Christian Bernhardt, on Wednesday evening, accusing the five of “unlawful means of conspiracy in relation to contracting the artiste”.

Trim demands that the event promoters “immediately cease and desist from continuing all plans, proposals and confirmed arrangements regarding to the Burna Boy–Love Damini-Tour Trinidad”. The concert is the penultimate stop of the Nigerian afrobeats megastar’s 2022 world tour, which ends next weekend with back-to-back shows at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and the National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica on December 17 and 18, respectively.

This latest setback on local turf comes less than two months after patrons were left soaked and muddy on a waterlogged field during Burna Boy’s appearance at the Plymouth Recreation Ground, on a stormy night in Tobago on October 27.

Alleged breach of contract

Durham alleges that he signed three contracts, on October 6, 10 and 11, with group of promoters to unitedly bring the Burna Boy concert to Trinidad on December 16. The final contract he alleges, signed on October 11, was an agreement between the parties for the concert to be held at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS), Port of Spain on December 17.

With the agreement of all parties Durham alleges that he went ahead and secured the North Park at the QPS via a letter of approval dated October 21. Following that booking Durham alleges to have “shared confidential and proprietary information” with Moses, Ugeh and Sobian” via WhatsApp and email correspondence. Durham also alleges to meeting in-person with Moses to discuss Burna Boy’s rider (performance night needs), the signed contract between the promoters and the artiste, the approval of the concert venue, logistics, cast, sponsorship and overall budget.

Durham alleges to have made contact with Ugeh via email on October 23 to notify them he was ready to make the deposit for the show and pay towards the private jet having signed a contract from the artiste’s United Talent Agency. On October 30 Durham alleges to have received an email from Bernhardt, informing him the contract was “void because you didn’t come through on the original agreement and kept renegotiating”.

Durham alleges that Cunningham, Sobion, Moses and Ugeh conspired to use the information he provided to independently book Burna Boy and have since promoted and sold tickets to the event in conflict to the parties’ original agreement. Their actions have caused him to “suffer losses to his reputation and finances”, Durham alleges.

Going before a judge

Trim notified the group of promoters that she will start High Court proceedings on Cash Money Brother’s behalf should the parties fail to comply. The parties were initially given until 2 p.m. yesterday to respond.

Speaking with the Express at 2.40 p.m. Trim said the promoters requested an extension of that deadline yesterday. The new deadline was set at 8 p.m. Calls to both Cunningham and Sobion’s cellphones went unanswered yesterday.

“They have asked for an extension of time to give a proposal or a response until 8 p.m. However, we are still minded to file high court documents,” Trim said.

What happens next is left to be seen. It may be left up to a High Court judge to decide if Burna Boy is allowed to perform tonight at O2 Park.

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