Hip hop tours and Australia just don’t seem to mix. In April, the Nas-curated Movement Festival was cancelled entirely, a few days later the all-ages urban event Supafest postponed just days before its kick-off, only for the promoter for the embattled Heatwave Festival to decry the myth of the ‘hip hop curse’.
Unfortunately, following shortly after Coolio’s postponed tour, news has arrived of another hip hop flop in the regional centre of Mildura, after several artists failed to show up to an event promising to be the biggest genre concert of its kind in the area, angering punters and performers alike.
According to Sunraysia Daily, Urban Vibe was billed as “the biggest hip-hop event Mildura had ever seen” with a lineup featuring American rappers Soulja Boy and J-Kwon, New Zealand MC Scribe, local emerging artist BK, DJ Everest, and Stormey Coleman – a former member of 2Pac group Outlawz.
The whole Saturday night event was called off however, after only a smattering of those scheduled to appear actually turned up to the event, booked at The Setts Bar and Function Centre, with promoter Stephan Busary of Eternal Entertainment coming under fire for lack of organisation.
Scribe took to his Facebook page to apologise to fans for his no-show and grill the “dodgy promoter”, writing that:
The reason I didn’t come is because the promoter sent me my flight 3 hours before departure which I was asleep and its weird coz he had paid me the day before as I have a strict “pay before play” policy or as I like to call it “no doe no show” so im a few g’s up for no work but I feel for the fans who bought tickets for a show that didnt happen. However that is one dodgy promoters doing not mine.”
“The whole event was ugly as hell,” says DJ Everest, real name Shaun Tuteru, who had to shut down the Urban Vibe gig on the night. “The event was scheduled to begin at 8pm, but the main artist didn’t even arrive at the venue until 12.30pm.”
“I shut it down at 12.15am to a crowd of about five people because everyone else had already left,” explains Tuteru; “people were getting very angry. To be honest, I think it was lucky there was not a riot.”
But Mildura hip hop act BK, aka Baybee Kharayzed tells a different story, telling the Mildura Weekly, saying that headliners were waiting in the wings to perform. “We had J-Kwon and Stormey Coleman, but with no audience no one performed,” he explains. “I think what happened was that someone must have told people that [no-one] was going to perform – which wasn’t the case.”
The local rapper says he had no knowledge of the absent performers until after he arrived at the venue, “I understand how angry people are, because I am hurting also,” says BK, who had a personal stake in the event after recommending to promoters Eternal Entertainment to put together the Mildura event months prior.
“I know audiences never get to see shows like this… I wanted Mildura to experience something that could have been great, but it ended up being a bad outcome, and I can only apologise for that,” he says. “However I am not at fault, and neither are the people who sold tickets, or the other DJs or artists.”
BK says he’d spoken to Eternal Entertainment’s Busary who was “very sorry that it didn’t work out,” and was in the process of organising refunds for audiences – who purchased $50 tickets for entry, and some $80 VIP passes to “party with the performers” afterwards. “[Busary] also wants to hold a free for all event which will have Savage, Scribe and another New Zealand artist in attendance,” he adds.
“I’m not sure if people will turn up for that, I know I wouldn’t because of what has happened… At the end of the day everyone is looking for someone to blame. I love my town and this event was planned with only good intentions.”