Seems like a bad time for Australian hip-hop festivals. Again.
Following on from the spectacular clusterfucks that were Supafest and Movement Fest a couple of years back and the recent cancellation of SoulFest 2015, another Aussie R&B festival is now in doubt, this time due to scam claims.
Suspicion has been cast upon The Boulevard, a new hip-hop festival featuring the likes of Nelly and T-Pain, after both headliners publicly distanced themselves from the event.
As Perth Now reports, bandaid-reppin’ rapper Nelly reckons he’s been “falsely advertised” as a member of The Boulevard Tour, which is due to hit Perth next month.
“It has come to my attention that I’m being falsely advertised as performing in Australia on The Boulevard Tour which is completely untrue,” the Grillz wordsmith tweeted. “I caution anyone who has bought tickets.”
“I am not or have I been associated with this tour. I love Australia and do hope to tour there again soon.”
— Nelly_Mo (@Nelly_Mo) January 31, 2016
Meanwhile, T-Pain – who was featured in promo for the event alongside R&B singer August Alsina – has also come out claiming he won’t be taking a ride wit’ the festival.
“I will not be performing in Australia,” the autotune wizard tweeted. “We were in talks but never received a payment.”
I will not be performing in Australia. We were in talks but never received a payment…#tpaintruth
— T-Pain (@TPAIN) February 1, 2016
And that’s not all. While venue staff at Perth’s Victoria Park have confirmed that the city’s self-proclaimed “newest and only outdoor urban music festival” does indeed have a booking at the Taylor Reserve on 19th March, other venues listed on The Boulevard Tour have not been so reassuring.
In fact, they actually have other gigs already booked in on the festival’s advertised dates.
For example, the tour is advertised to hit the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on 17th March and Sydney’s All Phones Arena on 20th March, which is when Madonna is booked to play both venues.
It’s also due to hit Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on 18th March, which is when Bryan Adams is scheduled to appear.
Tickets to The Boulevard tour are still on sale, fetching $106.10 for general admission and $381.50 for VIP, while VIP cabana packages for up to 10 people are also being sold for a wallet-squeezing $5,054.10.
However, speaking to Perth Now, a spokesperson for the organisers, Fundamental Creative, said the company was in the midst of renegotiating with both artists.
“(We) are hoping to deliver both artists on this tour,” they said. “Fundamental Creative wants to ensure ticket holders that they will be delivering on the promise of Perth’s newest and only outdoor urban music festival on Saturday 19th March with one of the best RnB and Urban line-ups ever to land on the west coast.”
Meanwhile, they’re promising “more announcements this week as we start to reveal the artist line up”.
According to the Perth newspaper, no inquiries or complaints have been lodged at this stage, but Consumer Protection commissioner David Hillyard has warned punters to proceed with caution.
“We have the right to expect that what is being promoted will be delivered and the Australian Consumer Law provides an avenue for redress if that is not the case,” he said. “As well as legal protections, there are also ways to protect ourselves.
“First and foremost, know who you are dealing with. If contact is established via social media platforms or online classifieds you should exercise caution.”
“It is not uncommon for a faceless seller, either overseas or here in Australia, to pretend to be someone they are not, offer something they cannot provide and ignore consumer and criminal laws.”
Take care then, kiddies.