Over the weekend, social media was agog after musician Jah Prayzah and his Third Generation band failed to perform in Gweru at the VG Complex at an event they were booked.
It emerged that the fans were agitated as they started throwing empty cans.
Jah Prayzah’s decision not to perform divided the fans, with some questioning if it was right for him to take that route.
First things first — in the music industry a contract is made between two parties before engaging services — well that is professionalism.
If one part breaches the contract, legal action must be taken.
In this case, according to Jah Prayzah, what they had agreed with the promoter was not on the ground.
In an interview, Jah Prayzah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze said there was unprofessionalism in the manner the show was handled.
Mushapaidze said they had a technical rider, an assertion that was opposed by fans on social media.
A technical rider typically includes three things: details about your group first, your rider should explain who is in the group, what instruments they are playing, and what their needs are on stage.
This includes how many mics, amps, music stands and chairs, among others.
“We cannot put that (technical rider) out for the world to see,” said Mashapaidze. “But most importantly we recommended the best service providers for the event from which the organisers were supposed to choose from, but they, for reasons best known to themselves, took the other route.
“The service provider could not deliver most of the items required for performance, including adequate stage monitors for the band. This would mean that the band would not even hear what they were singing or playing and that is a recipe for disaster when it comes to live performance.”
jah Prayzah later issued a statement explaining to his fans what had happened.
“Last night (Friday), 3G The Band failed to perform for all the music lovers in Gweru due to some unfortunate circumstances which I shall now elucidate,” he said.
“Upon engagement with the promoter, the JP management team and organisers agreed on specifics that would make us deliver the best set for our fans. There is a standard for a JP performance set and sadly that standard was not met as agreed upon.
“Unfortunately, to begin with, the PA system was way out of the spec range we agreed to and the music lovers had a difficult time with the audibility of the artistes who were performing on stage. The set that was available was suited for DJ slots and artistes who use backtracks for their performances and does not require much in terms of the equipment.
“The performance of a band as large as ours with such equipment was not possible.”
Jah Prayzah said the performance would have been a terrible experience for their fans and would definitely affect the brand they have grown to love over the years.
“Any efforts to fix the PA system before we performed (due to changed times) would have exposed the band members to missiles, therefore risking their safety,” he said. “Despite management’s efforts well ahead of time, the organizers failed to rectify the issue.
“Secondly, the performance date we engaged on and agreed to was supposed to have been Friday the 30th of September. The promoter kept pushing our performance time into the early hours of Saturday, October 1, and this agitated the crowd.”
The Mwana Wamambo hit maker also apologized to his fans.
“To my fans who braced the night and sacrificed time and money to see us do what we do best, we shall continue to push event organizers to deliver as per agreements and value the time and money that fans put in to support our industry,” he said.
Some fans on social media supported him, while others did not believe his explanation.
Gweru based Dj Blesh explained the professional process the promoters go through in booking the artiste, of which that was not done as said.
“The promoter engages the artiste’s manager to ensure about the dates first, the artiste manager gets information about the city, venue and line-up,” he said. “Before money is paid, the artiste sends what we call a technical rider which is a document that specifies exactly what the artiste requires in terms of sound, stage and light.
“The promoter agrees to the technical rider and other terms of contract. The artiste has the right to not perform if they don’t feel safe or technical rider specs are not met, among others things.”
Dj Blesh concurred with Jah Prayzah that he was right to have done foregone the perfomance.
“I have worked with Jah Prayzah multiple times in Gweru and we have never had an issue like this,” he said. “I am not bashing anyone, but we should invest in these events.”
Dubai-based fan and music enthusiast, part time promoter Jethro Nyandoro, affectionately known as Jezz De Don Dada, responded to Dj Blesh remarks by saying Jah Prayzah’s explanation exposed his manager and band.
“I say his team slept on the job,” he said. “The tech rider should have been ticked off way before the day of the show, that means his road manager via NDA should have seen the agreed contract between the service provider’s PA and promoter, among others.
“The signs should have been communicated by the road manager to Team JP. Failure to do so is clear breach of contract.”