• April 3rd, 2020

Desert Fest leaves entertainers dry and hanging

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK – The recently hosted Desert Festival, held at the coastal town of Walvis Bay, was a huge disappointment to local music enthusiasts and left a bitter taste in a lot of performers’ mouths, as their dues were not paid for their services rendered.

The first complainant was from South Africa’s Bihle Zizi, professionally known as Ubizizi, the Amapiano jam ‘Kokota’ hitmaker, who took it to social media to vent her frustration on not being paid. “Desert Summer fest owner David scammed us by performing without payment in Namibia, Walvis Bay on 20 December 2019,” she said.

Ubizizi further stated that David, the organiser of the festival, did a fake transaction and send her a screenshot indicating the amount was paid when they landed. “Only to find out we were scammed and he bridged our contract,” she vented on Instagram. The Desert Festival crew sent out a press release in retaliation to the accusation lamented by Ubizizi.

Speaking to Entertainment Now!, the organising team said an unfortunate event unfolded, leading to the non-payment. “Sadly, a bag containing more than N$ 120 000 festival cash was stolen on family day, 26 December 2019. It was supposed to be banked after the public holidays. The case has been reported to the Namibian Police station for investigations,” the team revealed. It is alleged the money was stolen from a car, and a case was opened at the Kuisebmund Police Station.

Entertainment Now! was shown a case number by the organisers; however, the Desert Festival team declined to comment on further queries regarding the matter.

“Very sad and unfortunate. For now, no further comment. Best wishes,” they said.
Local DJ Spuzza, the hitmaker of ‘Soek Soek’, was also caught in the web when he was not paid his whole fee.

“Stay woke people, Namibian musicians should be careful with organisers,” warned DJ Spuzza.
He said deposits always confirm his bookings for a show. “You will never find me performing at an event without having received any deposit. I did get my deposit – only waiting for the outstanding amount,” he said.

Rapper Diogene Ochs, who is also known as DJay, had his name removed from the list of performers, citing attendance issues. “The reason I was removed was apparently because the attendance was not what they thought it would be, so I don’t know. It sounded like they were going to pay artists from the gate money, so it was not clear,” DJay revealed.

DJay further expressed how disappointed he was at the whole festival because he was willing to promote the show on his social media pages. “I was looking forward to the show; I cancelled other gigs to be at the Desert Festival. I was scheduled to be busy travelling and performing at different events during the festive season, and I had to cancel because of the festival,” he said.

The Desert Festival is a platform for SMEs to come together and showcase their products during the festive holidays, and it includes 20 live house DJs, food stalls, Miss Summer 2019, colour party, glow party, kiddies corner, and a dance crew competition, among others.

DJ Tira from South Africa was also part of the performers at the seven-day event.

Staff Reporter
2020-01-10 07:53:32 | 2 months ago

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