It has been a colourful few days since Supafest announced that they had dropped Diddy and Missy Elliot from the bill for financial reasons (their press release, complete with lack of apostrophes, is included below).
First up, punters have been understandably miffed that two of the headliners are suddenly missing days before the show – as the thousand-plus comments on Supafest's Facebook page make clear – but now Diddy's taken to Twitter declaring "Attention Australia!!!! My 1st ever Australian tour is going to be cancelled because the promoters did not fulfill the contract! CRAZY!!!" and "I wanna come to supafest but its not up to me. The promoters never sent the money for the show i love you guys! I'm MAD as Fuck".
Not to be outdone, Missy Elliot's manager Mona Scott-Young has released a statement claiming that Elliot was never confirmed and that "It is unfortunate when this happens as this dishonest behaviour hurts everyone involved. It not only damages the reputation of the artist, but most importantly it disappoints the fans who spend their hard earned money on tickets expecting to see the artist."
At this point it appears that the show is going ahead as planned with the remaining artists, but coming after the disasterous Heatwave Festival earlier this year (with ticket sales tanking, artists dropping out and bitching about the festival on stage, organisational failures and eventual insolvency – not to mention the mysterious disappearance of one of the promoters for several days), it seems that 2012 is a nightmare year for hip hop festivals.
Press release 10 April: It is with great regret that Paperchase Touring and Entertainment announce that both P. Diddy and Missy Elliot’s performances at this year’s Supafest event will be cancelled. All other acts remain on the bill and are excited about coming to Australia to perform.
Supafest is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier Urban Music Festivals - the event and it's producers pride itself on having the leading artist’s of the genre perform each year at Supafest. In its third year, the event last year received world wide media acclaim which eventually put enormous pressure on the producers to make this years event bigger and better. A considerable amount of investment was used to lure the best available talent, and also to invest in larger production and upgrading venue amenities. The sales for Supafest 2012 have been steady and look like they will surpass last years attendances of 90,000, but in effect these numbers fall well short of the producers expectations to ensure commercial viability.
Consequently, this has forced them to slightly modifythis year’s event to ensure that Supafest carries on in years to come. Both P. Diddy and Missy are legends of this genre but with the inability to ensure the events future, drastic decisions had to be made to ensure the Festivals commercial viability. Paperchase are extremely disappointed P. Diddy and Missy Elliot won’t be joining the festival this year, but are hoping they can work with these legendary artists in the future.
Paperchase are very excited to be bringing you the worlds greatest performer in Chris Brown, along with T Pain, Ludacris, Ice Cube, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Big Sean and Naughty by Nature who will deliver an event that will excite and entertain the festivals fan base.
Supafest Producers Dwayne Cross and John Denison stated, "We are very regretful of our decision to modify this years festival artist bill and it came with great pains to both of us. People may not beware but an artist such as P. Diddy only performs a handful of shows a year and to have secured him to appear at our event was monumental. We made the early decision to extend our budget for our event this year to try and make it bigger and better and were hoping for a greater response. Not withstanding this outcome we are thankful that the event willdraw a larger audience than last year, but not sufficient enough to justify our additional investment. So a very hard decision had to be made for the survival of the event in future years to come. We understand that the majority of festivals have been down in numbers this year - some even cancelled!! We happen to be one of the few that have increased our turnover, but unfortunately our improvement wasn’t sufficient to ensure commercial viability. We are extremely proud of the event that we will stage this year and know that people will have a fantastic time. To those fans that we have disappointed, we apologize. We are promoting the RnB / Hip Hop genre with such a commitment in this territory and we ask you to please keep supporting Supafest and enjoy what promises to be a memorable event".