Thousands of music fans were on Saturday night left disappointed after celebrated bongo flava artiste Harmonize failed to perform at the inaugural Chaget Festival in Eldoret.
Sources who spoke to Nairobi News said that things started going south at around 3am when the fans who had thronged the Eldoret Sports Club Grounds got wind that the Wasafi Records musician won’t be performing since he had not been paid.
It is at this moment that the irate fans started throwing objects including bottles to the main dias, forcing the organisers and sponsors to flee for fear of their lives.
Some fans are said to have lost their mobile phones, while others were left nursing injuries sustained in the ugly scuffle.
“It was a bad scene. People were injured while some lost their mobile phones. I am nursing an injury on my leg,” said a fan who declined to be named for fear of reprisal.
Harmonize was flown to Eldoret from Nairobi by Fly Tristar. The same airline is expected to jet him back to Nairobi where he will connect back home.
DETAINED IN HOTEL
But on Sunday morning, a source at a hotel where Harmonize was booked told Nairobi News in confidence that the music star had been detained there since he had not paid the bills.
“He left the hotel at 3am for the venue only to come back and say that he won’t be performing since he wanted to be paid some unspecified amount of money in dollars. He is still detained here,” said the source.
Gates opened at 6pm on Saturday. Advance tickets to the event cost Sh500 while VIP retailed at Sh2, 000.
Efforts to reach the event organisers bore no fruit as phone calls to Shado Events Initiative CEO Douglas Omondi’s phone went unanswered.
This comes barely two months after Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage was detained in a Nairobi hotel over unpaid bill after a disagreement with her promoters.
Jamaican artist Everton Blender last month also faced the wrath of faceless promoters who switched off their phones and disappeared.
Police have confirmed that they have arrested the CEO of Shado Event Initiative which was behind Hamonize’s failed tour in Eldoret during the weekend.
The CEO, Douglas Obobe Maini, has been arrested by police who are investigating why he didn’t pay the singer who in turn failed to perform in the packed event.
Eldoret South Police boss Wilson Abduba, while confirming the incident, said that his officers managed to quell the agitated crowd that had started to destroy property at the venue.
“We had ‘Chaget festival‘ on Saturday which was to run from 6pm-6am and things were smooth until 2am when more than 5, 000 fans attending the event started demanding for Harmonize to perform. Reports we have indicated that there was disagreement on payment,” said Eldoret South Police boss Wilson Abduba.
Harmonize took to social media to apologize to his fans for not performing explaining what led to his actions.
“We have arrested the organizer and owner of Shado Events Douglas Obobe Maina who is assisting us in carrying out the investigations. My officers dispelled the angry crowds who destroyed tents, plastic chairs and later on, blocked the Eldoret-Kapsabet road as they burnt tyres,” he added.