After Organizational and Monetary Issues, The Much-Anticipated Haitian Music “LNDJ 2014” Event Falls Flat On Its Face
LNDJ 2014, New York City’s annual headlining Haitian music concert, was reported a massive failure by fans of the genre and their newly-introduced friends. Many attendees bought tickets for both themselves their partners, seeing the show as an opportunity to introduce Haitian music to virgin ears. The event, which had promised an incredible roster including popular groups such as Klass, 5lan, Harmonik, Cruz La, and Carimi, faced major production difficulties while trying to set up the venue and prepare adequately. Jaz Enterprise event organizers said they had hoped that the concert would be ‘the best show in the history’ of LNDJ — the new venue, though, created troubles.
It began with the timing of things. Those who attended felt robbed; they noted that doors were supposed to have opened at 9:00 PM — in actuality, ‘it was like tables were still being set up at that time.’ Confused and dismayed, eager Haitian music industry groupies watched as too small of a staff attempted to lug large speakers, lights, and even (now-infamous) carpets into place. Only after 1:00 AM did the show actually begin. Those who had grown impatient had long since left.
Even though the show was already so behind schedule, it seemed as if the shot-callers were not willing to make the rough decision to cut acts short. Cruz La began with a flustered 10 or 15 minute set. The sound was not mixed well and the engineering mistakes were blatantly obvious. From there, 5lan, Platinum D, and DJ Stackz tried to entertain the tired audience (turning mob) while Harmonik, the next in line to perform, was still setting up their equipment.
An entire 50 minutes passed; it was only after 3:00 AM that Harmonik performed. Carimi, the next group queued, didn’t get on stage until another hour later, at 4:00 AM. Those who actually had the gusto to stick around until then were met with yet another disappointment when the venues lights switched on, the mics turned off, and the venue’s management said ‘everybody out.’ Probably the most-anticipated, group, Klass, did not even get a chance to please all of their eager fans. This is on top of Klass’ recent controversy regarding their decision to hold an event in the Dominican Republic.
Makak on HaitianBeatz.com’s forum, in his post entitled “No Bias, No Bull – LNDJ 2014: Forgive but Don’t Forget,” noted (after several HaitianBeatz interviews with those involved in the planning of the event) that Jaz Enterprise likely projected their budget too low. The financial agreement between Jazz enterprise and the promoter of the event was not met until the dire moments before the actual concert was set to begin. This dissalowed the time needed for adequate preparation. Tack this on to an already hefty ticket price of $40 for normal seats and $100 for VIP seats, and you have some unhappy fans. Social media was ablaze after the party, with remarks criticizing both the events and Jaz Enterprise. It has been noted that no refund will be issued.
Because this is a public relations nightmare Jaz Enterprise, they have already begun to take a few steps to try and ensure that this kind of disaster never again happens with LNDJs. The organization issued a public apology on April 6, 2014, in which they said it is ‘with heavy hearts that they admit their mistakes’ and ‘promise that in the future they will reward their loyal fans with better professionalism and the quality that is to be expected of such a historic organization.’ One can see the full apology on Jaz Enterprise’s Facebook here. Those at the helm of the Haitian Music Industry’s perception and medias have suggested that fans dismayed by the terrible experience not hold it against Jaz Enterprise or LNDJ, but instead forgive and give another chance when LNDJ 2015 is announced.
It is important that large headlining events like this continue to be produced so that Haitian music’s influence continues to grow and affect new people in positive ways.