Ottawa – August 22nd, 2010
The Ottawa Reggae Festival is run by its’ Board of Directors which sees Benjamin Williams, the boards Chair, as the festival’s president.
In the role of festival president, Mr. Williams’ youth and inexperience caused him to make decisions that were ambitious, and ill advised. His financial decisions were made without consultation, and ended up costing the festival its’ reputation, and put him in ‘over his head.
The team of volunteers who worked for the festival had no knowledge of Mr. Williams’ financial decisions, transactions, or previous financial issues. As such, all volunteers associated with this event were blind-sided when revelations began to surface that there were monies owing, and that there were financial issues beyond the norm.
Further, the staging of the third day of this years’ festival was cancelled due the financial strain when vendors past and present began contacting the festival for monies owed. In addition, the court judgment against the festival, and the Bailiff’s seizure of alcohol and gate admission revenues made it next to impossible for additional revenues to be earned. Volunteers had conversations with several local and international artists who expressed concern about performing knowing that their initial deposits had not been paid on time. Artists managers were further concerned about balances being paid upon the artists arrival for their performances.
Contrary to public perception, Barrington Levy was contracted to perform, and received his deposit. Due to clerical error at the Canadian embassy in Jamaica, Mr. Levy was unable to obtain his visa on time which would grant his entry to the country. Tarrus Riley is in the city of Ottawa today (August 22nd, 2010), and is prepared to perform, however is unable to due to the festivals cancellation. As for Sean Paul, Sean’s booking agency, Headline Entertainment, received Sean’s deposit after the deposit deadline was extended several times to accommodate Mr. Williams cash flow. Sean is not in the city as Headline Entertainment had no confidence in the balance of Sean’s $50,000 performance fee being met.
The volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure the festival’s success are disappointed whe outcome, and stand together knowing that but for the financial decisions of the president, this years’ staging would have been a total success.
Fans who purchased tickets online or at ticket outlets and want a refund are being asked to call 613-315-4461, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.