Wednesday, July 24, 2024

‘Janky’ booking agent has to pay Durham back $37,000 for failing to book singer Monica for Bimbe Festival

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Rumor has it that a sketchy booking agent, Christopher Weeks, is in hot water for owing the city of Durham, North Carolina a whopping $37,000. This all stems from his failure to secure the authentic R&B sensation Monica for the Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival on May 18.

Christopher Weeks to repay city of Durham $37,000.
Christopher Weeks to repay city of Durham $37,000.

Despite the event proceeding amidst rain showers, Monica was not there. The city of Durham claimed they had a solid contract with her, only to discover that something in the milk wasn’t clean with Weeks, which ultimately was the reason Monica was not “contacted or contracted” for the festival.

Weeks has reached an agreement with the city to make ten additional payments of $3,200 to Durham from July 2024 to April 2025. Reports indicate that Weeks had an outstanding debt as of June 10, which he partially repaid with an initial $5,000 installment.

Initially contracted for $45,000 in January to secure Monica for a festival, Weeks reportedly reassured Durham’s parks and recreation department in the subsequent months that the booking had been finalized.

Monica, falsely advertised by the city of Durham to perform at Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival in Durham, North Carolina.
Monica, falsely advertised by the city of Durham to perform at Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival in Durham, North Carolina.

City officials disclosed that Weeks received payments totaling $37,000 in installments, with a final $8,000 payment scheduled post-festival. The agreement stipulates that failure to adhere to the monthly payments will result in a written notice of default, allowing a seven-day grace period for payment. Should Weeks fail to comply, the agreement obtained by WRAL specifies that the outstanding balance, along with accrued interest and legal fees, will become immediately due to the city.

On Wednesday, Durham provided additional documentation to WRAL regarding the circumstances surrounding Monica’s absence. The newly released records include emails exchanged between Weeks and city employees, as well as copies of Cash App receipts and wire transfers associated with the booking. Additionally, a copy of the contract between Weeks and an agent in Georgia was included in the documents.

According to reports, the process of booking Bimbe’s headliner began in November 2023. On November 2, records indicate that Weeks submitted a proposal via email to city project manager Rukea Womack.

Weeks’ email read: “My passion for the City of Durham, The Bimbe Festival, and music as a whole provides me with the tremendous desire, combined with unmatched skills, to bring a very successful lineup to headline for the 2024 Bimbe.” The theme will be ‘GIRL POWER,’ and the combinations of artists that I will offer will be both appropriate for families of all ages and designed specifically to transport the attendees to a place in their minds where happiness lives,” Weeks wrote in the email obtained by WRAL. “My services will be seamless, time-sensitive and critical, as well as provided in the utmost of professional manner.”

Weeks expressed in his email to the city that over the last two years, they have taken the necessary steps to ensure that BIMBE’s main event was characterized by the high standard of excellence that they are both recognized for. He also emphasized the importance of replicating the success for the upcoming event.

In his proposal, Weeks listed a lineup of talented artists like Angie Stone, Ledisi, Mya, Mc Lyte, Faith Evans, Monica, Nicole Wrap, Tweet, Jodeci, Remy Ma, Hi Five, and Ruff Endz. With 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Weeks, the mastermind behind “the incomparable,” has been orchestrating artist bookings and live performances since 1995.

When submitting the proposals, Weeks disclosed that Monica’s fee with Ruff Endz fell within the $5,000 to $7,500 range, while Amerie was proposed alongside Mya and Nicole Wrap with fees ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. Following negotiations, the city eventually struck a deal with Weeks and his agency, The Incomparable LLC, to feature Monica and Amerie at the Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival on May 18. However, the contract was later revised to exclude Amerie from the lineup.

Additional records obtained by the publication included a contract dated January 23, in which Weeks engaged with “Monica Live 24” to showcase at the Bimbé Festival on May 18 for a sum of $30,000. This amount encompassed the performance fee, artist’s travel expenses, sound and lighting equipment, stage monitors, and the artist’s specific requirements for the show. The agreement also stipulated the provision of six hotel rooms at a luxury hotel during the event.

The contract mandated a $15,000 deposit to be transferred via wire to the bank account of Drae Jackson in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Weeks also produced evidence of three wire transfers to Jackson totaling $10,870.

Apart from the wire transfers, official documents reveal that Weeks provided city officials with records of $20,464 worth of Cash App transactions to different accounts for various booking-related expenses. The most recent transaction was on May 14, with a note indicating a payment of $261 for the “Monica Good Buyout.”

In late January, records show that Weeks forwarded Monica’s bio and press photo to Womack via email, mentioning that Monica was currently seeking a fee of 80K plus rider, but said he could get the “hookup.” As the festival approached, the city began hyping up Monica as the main act. However, just before the event, Monica took to social media to clarify that she had not been scheduled to perform.

In a video shared on Facebook on May 18, she expressed disappointment at the misinformation, stating that she was actually set to perform in Rochester and Baltimore on the respective days. Monica emphasized that although she was never officially booked for the festival, she would have been thrilled to take the stage if given the chance.

In a recent email to Womack, Weeks expressed his deep dismay over the recent events and his confusion at the decisions made by Monica and her team. Despite his efforts to accommodate their requests, including last-minute changes and additional expenses, Monica seemed to view the event as a favor rather than a professional commitment, according to records obtained by WRAL.

Weeks is now working closely with legal counsel to determine accountability and ensure that all financial matters are resolved. He has also enlisted the help of the Durham PD Criminal Investigation Unit to seek answers and a resolution. 

In a letter to city officials on May 23, Weeks expressed his readiness to comply with the city’s request to return the money, on the condition that Monica’s representative, Ardrae Jackson, fulfills the promise of providing the refund. The following day, Weeks sent an email to city attorneys stating that he was still awaiting the wire transfer.

Despite the deadline passing on May 24, Weeks confirmed that Jackson assured him the wire transfer was on its way, although it had not yet reflected in his account.

Subsequently, the city issued a second demand for a full refund by May 31.

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Gerald Jackson
Gerald Jacksonhttps://www.instagram.com/iiamgj/
Hi, my name is Gerald Jackson and I am 28-years-old. I was born and raised in Troy, Alabama. I currently reside in North Carolina. I am a Journalist, Influencer, Content Creator, and a Man of Faith! I don't shy away from the truth, always speak my mind, and before I take anything back, I'll add more to it. Follow me on my social media below to keep up with my personal life. LOL!

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