Latino rap superstar Pitbull is touching down in Australia next month for a national tour. ‘Big deal’ right? Why should you care?
Because it looks like the rapper is about to get his come uppence, being sued for more than $200,000 for cancelling a visit three years ago.
According to The Age, Pitbull was set to fly down under for a concert tour in 2008, when his tour manager *ahem* Purple, told organisers “we won’t be boarding the plane, something doesn’t feel right.” The promoters for the 2008 tour, Jaime Fernandez and Juan Uribe, are using the current 2012 Planet Pit tour as the opportunity to sue for damages over the cancelled concert.
Fernandez and Uribe claim that the cancelled shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth were a breach of Pitbull’s contract to the concert promoters and are ordering that he pay for funds lost on the hire of venues, promotion and predicted revenue from ticket sales.
Barry London, Pitbull’s road manager, is refuting the claims – telling a Sydney court yesterday that the 2008 tour was scrapped because Fernandez and Uribe had failed to pay them a performance fee that was promised before they were due to depart from Miami for the Australian tour.
London told that the court that he had been paid $18,700 instead of the agreed $30,000 performance fee, accepting a lower deposit from the concert promoters because of the (at the time) weaker Australian dollar had increased production costs for Fernandez and Uribe.
Both Fernandez and Uribe say that they did eventually pay the full performance fee, and received communication from Pitbull’s road manager that the national tour would go ahead, but by then it was too late, pulling the plug on the scheduled tour. The rapper indicated that poor ticket sales meant that the concert had not been properly promoted.
In response, Fernandez and Urbide say that the poor ticket sales were due to rap audiences’ poor experience with hip-hop artists, having been burnt by a series of concert cancellations and were waiting for Pitbull to touch down in Australia before committing to purchasing tickets.
The fact that Pitbull and his manager, Purple, deemed that “something didn’t feel right” as an excuse for aborting a national tour seems to only validate the concert promoters’ theory.
Besides, it’s not the first time the world of hip hop and rap has had some poor touring commitments in Australia. The company responsible for putting on the failed Heatwave hip hop festival was declared bankrupt last January, unable to honour its outstanding financial commitments.
Made insolvent following its disastrous event that we declared a disaster waiting to happen, which it was, with our review commenting on the poorly organised event: “Do you enjoy throwing away your hard earned money? How about not getting what you paid for?… [then] Heatwave Festival may have just been the thing for you.”
Similarly, commercial rapper Flo Rida pulled the plug on his 2011 Fat As Butter appearance just two hours before he was due on stage, evading lawyers over his shonky commitments until he was later served over Facebook.
Plus who could forget the supa-failure that was Supa Fest? With thousands of ticket holders who were ripped off when a number of the headliners, such P, Diddy and Missy Elliot, were pulled off the lineup to cut costs, or because they had simply never been booked. With its organisers now swamped in bitter legal battles.
While the case between Fernandez, Uribe and Pitbull continues, we’d wager that the Latino rapper can afford to pay some of the $200,000 damages from his net worth of $6 million.