Mavado Reaches Settlement With Ugandan Concert Promoter

Jamaican Dancehall star Mavado has reached a settlement with Ugandan promoter Chinedu Ikoroha in a long-standing legal dispute over a failed concert in the East African country over a decade ago.

On Friday (February 16), during a conference with Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Marutollo in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Beat & Teach deejay and Ikoroha reached an agreement in principle to end the lawsuit.

The settlement terms, including any settlement amount, were not disclosed in court records obtained by DancehallMag. However, the judge ordered that the agreement must be finalized by March 18, 2024.

Ikoroha, principal of Cee Cee Entertainment Ltd, had claimed significant financial losses after a December 29, 2012 concert — which was to be headlined by Mavado in the capital city of Kampala — never materialized. A makeup concert date on March 29, 2013, also fell through.

In 2019, the promoter sued Mavado, whose real name is David Constantine Brooks, and VP Records (who booked the artist through Reggae Planet), alleging breach of contract and additionally leveled a fraud claim against VP after Mavado denied that they were acting on his behalf.

He sought the return of US$60,000 allegedly paid to Mavado as a 50% deposit, US$40,000 allegedly paid to Mavado’s reps for travel, security, and accommodation expenses, and awards for damages for at least US$250,000 in concert expenses, and US$545,000 in lost ticket sales.

The promoter also claimed that Mavado was aware that he had mortgaged two properties to finance the concert.  He said the properties were also lost due to the concert’s failure. 

In 2020, VP successfully got itself dismissed from the case, leaving Mavado as the sole defendant after the company submitted as evidence the artist’s promotional videos for the show, which was part of the agreement once 50 percent of the performance fee was paid.

They also pointed out that Mavado had apologized on Twitter for missing the December 2012 date, agreed to the makeup concert date in March 2013, and also did another promotional video.

Meanwhile, Mavado’s defense centered on alleged contract breaches by Ikoroha.

His attorneys argued that the fact that the 2012 show did not take place was not a breach of the contract but that the Ugandan’s alleged failure to make payments for travel and to pay the balance of the deposit fee by November 1, 2012, had voided the agreement and Mavado’s obligations.

The deejay’s lawyers also contended that there were conditions beyond his control, “namely that the show Brooks would have been coming from was cancelled due to a third party’s fraudulent conduct, which created a security risk for Brooks.”

mavado
Mavado. Courtesy Instagram/@mavadogully

With respect to Ikoroha’s statements that Mavado knew that he had mortgaged properties in order to stage the show, the artist’s lawyers said that the promoter had failed to produce competent evidence connecting alleged expenditures to expenses of putting on the concert or that it was his loss.

Regarding lost ticket sales, Mavado’s lawyers contended:  “To the extent Plaintiff is including alleged lost profits in that number, such profits are “merely speculative” and are also not recoverable.    There must be a showing that the particular damages were fairly within the contemplation of the parties to the contract at the time it was made. Courts are hesitant to award lost profits to a new business, because when a business is just starting such future profits are especially speculative and difficult to prove.”

“Plaintiff, which was less than two years old at the time, had literally never promoted another show. Even Plaintiff’s principal had admittedly only had one other prior show through a different entity, which either lost money or broke even,” they agrued.

“Plaintiff’s principal had no background in the entertainment industry or as a show promoter, and only worked for a few months with one company to promote non-comparable, smaller events. As such, any alleged lost profits are entirely speculative.”

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