Music Business

The Davido Troubled US Tour: Can Nigerian Concert Promoters in the USA Just Get it Together Already?

We’ve discussed the issue of Nigerian concert promoters in America and other African groups executing poorly  planned concerts that are simply embarrassing and border on criminal and civil liability. Characteristics of these concerts include overbooked venues to the point where they are a safety hazard/risk for concert goers, lack of security to contain a crowd, too many logistical issues inconsistent with, and way below industry standard, and the insanely late starts.

These concert promoters have not been the only ones  with this systemic problem that plagues the entertainment industry. The talents themselves have also been a problem. From no shows to showing up really late, to terrible performances, inconsistent with what they agreed in their live performance agreements to do, the list does really go on.

What I also continue to observe is that for whatever reason, the pattern and practice here in the USA that would appear to indicate that Africans lack the ability to pull off a concert, is negated when you look at the UK. The UK has succeeded in being a trailblazer and having a blue print on how things ought to be done when it comes to concert promotion and many other aspects of show biz in Africa’s entertainment industry. Why is this?

I am disappointed to continue to hear and read the terrible stories regarding Davido’s USA tour. Davido has successfully toured the UK and other parts of the world with no real issue, at least not the ones that make headlines. These tours were as a result of African promoters bringing him to their respective countries and having their acts together. Why is it so hard for African promoters in the USA to emulate this?  Also for the Davido concert, “$600 for VIP Table, $50 ticket at door, $40 ticket in advance” and Davido only performed for twenty (20) minutes in New York?

In Davido’s New York concert, a young woman was also almost crushed to death. If that had happened, these promoters would be singing a different music. For existing and wanna be African promoters in the USA, especially Nigerians, get your acts together. Learn the business, learn the craft, shadow your American counterparts who put on concerts all time and learn the basics. What lies ahead if you fail to do so is simply not going to be pretty, from a legal and financial standpoint.


DAVIDO Explains Side

Read a statement from Cos Canino’s Underdarock that he has shared with the media about the incident in New York.

“I hope all is well with you, my name is Cos Canino and  I am one of the founders of the Annual Nigerian Entertainment Awards in NY. I saw your article about the Davido concert being shut down due to over capacity. I was on stage and actually broadcast the show live through my UDR radio.

It is true there were a lot of people at that concert but that’s not why the venue was shutdown. The number one reason was due to lack of crowd of control. The promoters did not have enough security to manage and control the crowd. The venue is called Pulse 48th and its located deep inside Brooklyn. During Labor Day weekend, every year, the biggest Jamaican concert is held at that same venue with 3 times the crowd with no issues.

The venue license only allows them to stay open till 4am. Davido got on stage at 3:20am. The only thing you can blame Davido for is that, knowing that there is only about 30 minutes left, don’t put out other people onstage to perform before you. He first brought out one Dred loc guy (light skinned) and the crowd started booing heavily, in fact they started throwing things at the guy, water, tissues, and other items. Then Special also did one song, then Shina Rambo. So then Davido started performing, by the time he did 3 songs, cops came and shut it down. about 3:45am. In NYC, when club closes at 4am, (the) expectation is that (the) music (should) be turned down and people should start making their way out so at 4am, the venue is empty.

About 2am way before Davido got on stage, there was a young girl that was right in front of the stage and got crushed till she passed out, she was pulled on stage and eventually was OK, that was the only other incident. The securities or the promoters did not help the girl. I know the girl’s sister was yelling about lawsuit also and possibly may have called the cops too.

I though(t) it is very important for people to know the truth about what happened.”

Also read tweets from concert goers on that day.

Davido Concert Gone Very Wrong 1 Davido Concert that Continues to Go Very Wrong 2 Davido Concert that Continues to Go Very Wrong 3 Davido Concert that Continues to Go Very Wrong 4 Davido Concert that Continues to Go Very Wrong 5 Davido Concert that Continues to Go Very Wrong 6 Davido Concert that Continues to Go Very Wrong 7

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AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
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