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Singer Abdu promises to ‘make it up' to fans
By Ali Faqandish
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 08 - 2009

Renowned singer Mohammed Abdu has apologized for the chaotic conclusion to his Jeddah Summer Festival concert the previous night which saw angry fans demanding refunds and backstage confrontations with organizers, and promised to make it up to them with another concert while also blaming the organizers for “not being up to the job”.
“I'll hold a concert for Eid Al-Fitr, this time with all the proper technical and engineering facilities, in which I'll give debuts to new material never heard before and also give some old classics a run out,” Abdu said Monday.
As for the suspension of Sunday night's performance after only the first set, Abdu laid the blame squarely on the organizers.
“The organizer and the contractor were not up to a job such as this which needs detailed preparations for the orchestra, audio engineering and the stage design,” Abdu said.
“We had a group of local musicians supplemented by some Egyptians with whom we've worked for a long time, but suddenly a day before the concert we found ourselves without the Egyptian musicians, so we moved quickly to bring in musicians on a private plane which arrived shortly before the concert was due to begin,” he said.
“The group came straight on stage with musical director Amad Ashour for the first set, and they should have been paid their fees before the beginning of the second as is the custom, but unfortunately the organizer Saud Salim started arguing with Ashour saying they would only be paid after the concert at the hotel which had been reserved for them.”
Abdu said such terms were unacceptable, citing the popular saying: “There's no more cake after the party”.
The singer added that the musicians were surprised at organizer Salim's attitude, and noted the fact that he had the money on him in cash and could have paid the musicians on the spot.
When Salim then reportedly left the site of the event, the musicians took a decision they described as “unprecedented in their whole careers”, to file a police complaint against him seeking payment of their fees.
The two-hour late beginning of the concert and its conclusion after only the first set were only two of Sunday evening's mishaps at Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium Sports Hall in Jeddah.
Crowds which had begun gathering at the venue gates hours earlier were not permitted entry until 9.30 P.M., despite the concert's scheduled start of 10 P.M., and water was neither allowed to be brought into the hall nor available for purchase inside.
As tensions rose arguments erupted between fans, who had paid between 150 and 1,300 riyals for tickets, and security staff, and there were also confrontations with members of the press community who were being denied access to the performance.


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