Festival Organizer Left in Difficult Position after Headliner’s Sudden Cancellation

WOODLAND -- For nine years, the One Love, One Heart reggae festival has brought artists from around the world to the Sacramento area for a weekend of music and culture.

This year, the concert’s biggest headliner backed out at the last minute leaving festival organizers without its main act.

They are now out of money and planning to take legal action.

Davido is one of the most well-known names in Afro-pop music, headlining shows around the world with some of music's biggest artists.

“Davido is like the Michael Jackson of Africa," event producer Denise Carter said.

His popularity is the reason Carter booked Davido for the One Love, One Heart reggae festival.

He was the headliner of the Labor Day event.

Carter says she had a contract with Davido, William Morris Entertainment and LA Entertainment.

She was responsible for the artist’s fee, flights, hotel, meals and other requests.

She claims she fulfilled her end of the contract including Davido’s fee of $66,000 – making her last payment on Aug. 30.

Documents obtained by FOX40 show some wire transfers to LA Entertainment.

“I sent the deposit and so I was ready to start promotions,” Carter said.

A look at Davido’s Instagram feed shows he too was ready for the performance in Woodland, posting to his 7.6 million followers his touring dates, including the stop in Woodland.

But on the day of the concert, Sept. 2, a cancellation From William Morris Entertainment appeared in Carter’s inbox.

Davido wasn’t taking the stage.

“I cried my eyes out,” Carter said. “It was one of those pills you had to swallow.”

Carter says not only were concert goers affected, but investors also lost a lot of money.

“Well over $100,000. They had projected us bring in $1.5 million," Carter told FOX40.

Carter has been refunding money to vendors and guests.

“He was the artist we put every single penny into,” Carter said. “I never paid that much for an artist.”

But money didn't seem to be the issue according to LA Entertainment.

The company sent FOX40 a statement accusing Carter of failing to meet all the requirements under the contract.

“We have encountered many difficulties with the promoter of said festival in fulfilling his obligations. The means of transport provided the very day of the concert and at the last minute did not allow the artist to travel in acceptable conditions from Philadelphia to Sacramento, in accordance with our contract.”

“This is the first time I heard that there was issues with the flights. They needed all the flights to come out of Philadelphia and that was on the contract and now the flights are coming out of Texas we have four flights,” Carter said.

Carter gave FOX40 emails between her and LA Entertainment showing the agency asked for changes to the flight plans three days before the festival.

“We had everything that was required in the contract," Carter told FOX40.

The festival organizer has now hired an attorney and is working to get her money back.

But for Carter, the biggest damage was done to the fans.

“I am very apologetic, it was all in the good intentions of bringing this artist to Sacramento," she said.

Festival organizers say despite the challenges this year, they plan on returning next year to our region.

William Morris Entertainment did not want to comment on this story. Davido did not respond to a request for comment.