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Oval battle

Celebration Time tent manager Peter Boyce with Janelle Walcott.

by Latoya Burnham

The Kensington Oval Management Inc could find itself before the law courts over what one tent says is a breach of an agreement over plans to host a show at the facility on August 1.

Celebration Time tent manager, Peter Boyce told Barbados TODAY just moments after meeting with his lawyer in Pinfold Street that their attempts to pay a deposit at the Kensington Oval to host a planned show were stopped by management there this evening.

His attorney, Wilfred Abrahams, meanwhile said he would file documentation before the courts tomorrow to hear the matter as soon as possible.

Boyce said the decision by management came as a surprise since they had been in negotiations and discussions with KOMI since January about the planned event, and were only contacted by CEO, Henry Inniss yesterday, one week before the event, telling them they could no longer have the date.

“We went to pay our deposit today and were told by management that we could not have the show there because the NCF has a technical rehearsal planned, therefore we can’t have it and we should look at another date.

“We would have been talking to them since January… When the NCF said they would have the finals at the stadium, that was when we went to Kensington Oval,” said Boyce.

He argued that they had held site visits and discussions with KOMI in past months and weeks about the show and as recently as Monday were in communication with officials there about the final arrangements for the show.

Celebration Time’s show, Old Hype vs New Hype was scheduled for next Wednesday night at 8 p.m., including performers like Soca Kartel, Edwin, Khiomal, Lil Rick, RPB, Black Pawn, Alan Shepherd, Alison Hinds, as well as the St. Vincent soca monarch Skinny Fabulous.

“Up until Monday we were in communication with them and the only communication was that we needed to pay. That would have been a deposit that was due today. They sent us correspondence that would have indicated that we had a week before the show to pay and we went to Kensington to pay and when we got there we were met outside by the CEO who told us that he would not be accepting our cheque because he reiterated what he said that we could not have the event on that day,” he contended.

His tent mate, Janelle Walcott, who had accompanied him first to KOMI and then to the AEGIS law offices in Pinfold Street, confirmed that they had only received any indication that there was a problem from the CEO yesterday.

“He spoke to me and basically said the same thing, that NCF had booked a series of dates and therefore he was unable to accommodate us on our date and we should look to come in and meet with him to find another date to have our show because it is a national event and he feels that NCF must be given the time and therefore he would have to give us another date.”

Boyce though maintained that this was not good enough. He argued that the following day after his event was scheduled to take place was available for the NCF’s rehearsal, but it seemed no compromise was willing to be made to accommodate the hosting of his show Wednesday night.

“They are putting us through all this because their band wants to rest. So the National Cultural Foundation, we had started to discuss it with them and I had asked them why they couldn’t have the rehearsal on the Thursday and it turned out that they wanted their band to rest. So they are willing to displace our entire show after we were working from the beginning of the season.

“We would have been advertising via BlackBerry, television, radio; we have invested a lot in the show and the only reason we are going through this is because the NCF is saying they want the following day to rest. So no one will have the next day at Kensington at all.”

Boyce said there were also sponsors that had to be considered, who were expecting to have exposure on that night and a change in date could affect sponsorship.

“We have instructed our legal representatives to take action so that our event can proceed because we have a legitimate reason that we can proceed with our event and we are proceeding with it. It is something we have instructed our attorneys to deal with,” Boyce stated.

Abrahams told Barbados TODAY: “The next step would have to be trying to move the court to hear the matter as urgently as possible, so that I can get a satisfactory result for the client who seems to be disadvantaged by apparently arbitrary action.

“We are going to file an urgent application tomorrow and hopefully get a hearing tomorrow or by Friday, latest, to let the court rule on what is fair and right in the circumstances. At the end of that, hopefully the show will go on.”

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