by Jodee Brown
With the 21st edition of Reggae Sumfest having kicked off on Sunday, speculation is rife whether or not internationally-regarded Dancehall artist, Mavado will be a late edition to the lineup as confusion over his possible participation persists.
The artist’s camp is hopeful that the ‘Gully Gaad’ will join the Dancehall Night lineup Thursday night, despite Sumfest organizers’ claims the singjay recently informed them of his unavailability for the show. According toRobert Russell, a member of Sumfest’s organizing committee, attempts were made to book Mavado for the show, but talks disintegrated due to the entertainer’s contractual obligations to other events.
“We were told that he would not be available for Sumfest, and that is why we did not book him,” Russell told the Jamaica STAR. “There is no grouse between the organizers and the artiste because we try our best to get a complete line-up as much as possible each year.”
However, Mavado’s manager, Julian Jones-Griffiths insists there was an agreement in place for his client to perform at Sumfest.
“I have an email where we agreed to their offer over a month ago,” Griffiths told the STAR. “Mavado has a show in L.A., the day after Sumfest’s Dancehall night, and I was delaying booking the flights to L.A. because we weren’t sure if he was flying from Jamaica or not. We thought he was going to appear at Sumfest but it wasn’t confirmed as yet. That delay ended up costing the LA promoter more money because the flight cost went up.”
Griffiths believes organizers should be blamed for this breakdown in communication while insisting Mavado’s absence from the Sumfest lineup has hurt his following.
“They (the organizers) playing games. I maintain what I am saying is fact,” he said. “Perhaps, Mr Russell isn’t aware of what happened. A lot of his (Mavado’s) fans are asking how comes he’s not on Sumfest, and they should know it’s no fault of ours. A lot of Mavado’s fans have been communicating via social media, especially to his Twitter account. They are sharing their displeasure at him not being on this year’s Sumfest.”
Russell, however, intimated that there is still time to add Mavado to the show’s bill, but would have to adjust time slots on short notice, given favorable terms are agreed between the artist and organizers.
Griffiths also says Mavado is willing to perform at Sumfest, but would have to make changes to his travelling schedule to accommodate the move.
Reggae Sumfest kicked off proceedings with a beach party on Sunday and will resume on Thursday with Dancehall Night, which features Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, I-Octane, Popcaan, Aidonia, Spice, Macka Diamond and many more.