The inaugural Ecips Music Festival kicked off as scheduled on Aug. 20, as a multi-genre music event, intended to unite fans of various artists from the Caribbean, Latin America, and New York natives. But some attendees say the festival did not promise what it advertised and cheated them out of their money.
“Ecips was a complete and utter disaster — a waste of my $70,” said one concert-goer on the festival’s FaceBook page. The event failed to bring forth the artists it promised and some attendees are blasting organizers and demanding refunds.
The concert advertised more than 20 performers, mostly Jamaican artists, in their star-studded lineup, with headliners Remy Ma, Akon, Alkaline, and more. But guests prepared to see those artists never did, and the concert ended without anyone of them taking the stage, according to another guest.
“Lights off and the concert is over but where was Akon, Remy Ma, Alkaline, Elephant Man, and De la Ghetto?” asked Gardy Charles. “They were a no-show and there were no explanations from the organizers.”
Promoters say a miscommunication between them and the artists’ managing team, along with issues with the security company, led to the last minute disarray, said the founder.
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart. It was my management that failed and a few misunderstandings,” said Suzan Peart.
The show did go on, however, with appearances by Queen Ifrica, Kiprich, Lady G, Mega Banton, and Teflon. The only one of the leading stars to perform was singer Freddie Jackson, according to Charles. But others including singer Donyale were stopped by security from performing.
“She was actually blocked by the security guards from getting to the main stage to perform,” he added. “With resilience she performed her set on the side stage and you could see a glance of her even though security guards did their best to prevent that by blocking her from the crowd.”
Many of the artists who did not show up were in town and prepared to perform, but transportation arrangements for some were not certified, added Peart. She explained that Remy Ma was also barred by security from going on stage, and legal issues against Akon forced them to cut him from the program as early as two days before the concert.
“His management decided they were going to pull him from the event and since Aug. 18 my website no longer had Akon listed,” she said.
Peart said she is taking blame for not fully delivering the show she initially planned, and a do-over concert is in the works for customers who did not get to see the highly requested performer Alkaline. She said the artist was expected to be the main attraction at the festival because his younger fans would get a rare chance to see him live, but he too was a no-show. She said that by the end of the year, customers who maintained their tickets and receipts will get something in return.
“My only concern right now are the patrons and I apologize to the parents who bought tickets for their kids who didn’t get to see Alkaline,” she said. “The fans are the most important people and we will make it up to them by giving them a free show.”