Organizers, performer accuse concert ‘producer’ of duping them

ORGANIZERS, suppliers and even performers of a recently concluded music festival held in Barangay Sambag 1, Cebu City have alleged that their producer scammed them.

Mark Nelson Mino and Mary Denise Purisima, who are members of the marketing team that organized the Verve Music Festival in Barangay Sambag 1 on January 13, 2023, claimed Wednesday, January 18, that their producer, Shadrach Crisostomo, scammed them by failing to fulfill his financial obligation to pay them, their suppliers and artists with proceeds from the concert.

Aside from Mino and Purisima, Paul Vincent Paras, who manages Cebuano rapper Range999, also claimed that Crisostomo failed to pay them P480,000 in talent fees in exchange for the rapper’s performance at the concert. Paras vowed to take legal action against Crisostomo if he doesn’t pay what he owes them.

A businessman, Don Marc Dondon, also claims that Crisostomo owes him P50,000 worth of food he provided to the latter’s team.

Though he denies scamming those involved, Crisostomo told SunStar Cebu Thursday that he plans to settle what he owes the organizers, suppliers and performers amicably.

Mino and Purisima told SunStar Cebu that while the event was successful, they still owed their suppliers and talents.

They alleged that Crisostomo, who set up the event, committed identity fraud and scammed them and others involved in the event.

The two organizers recalled meeting Crisostomo for the first time in November last year after the latter tapped their services to handle the marketing and social media promotions for the festival.

At that time, Crisostomo introduced himself as “Luis Russel.”

According to the two, Crisostomo promised them a 15 to 20 percent share of the P1.5 million ticket sales generated through an online ticketing website.

Mino and Purisima said they decided to go with Crisostomo’s offer since the latter assured them that the sponsorships, the ticketing sales and even paying for talent fees for the performers were all accounted for.

Red flags

But weeks prior to the event, Mino and Purisima noticed some “red flags” with how Crisostomo was running the event.

They said Crisostomo often changed the details on who was sponsoring the event, the event’s location and the performers participating in it.

Even though their work focused mostly on promoting the concert, Mino said he and Purisima suddenly became contact persons for the sponsors and the performers prior to the event.

They also noticed that some of the crucial elements of the concert such as the stage, sound and lighting system were set up late.

Purisima said they only found out from those who set up the concert’s stage that Crisostomo failed to provide them the initial payment of P1.5 million as agreed. They eventually started setting up the stage after Crisostomo paid a down payment of P100,000.

They also found problems in the holding area being prepared for performers.

Mino said he had to shell out money from his own funds just to pay for the food for their performers, organizers and their staff.

Both claimed that Crisostomo has not even given them funds for contingencies, nor do they have access to the proceeds from the concert’s ticket sales.

Purisima said there was one instance when the check issued by Crisostomo as payment to the suppliers bounced.

They eventually decided to seek legal help after they found that Crisostomo had used a fake name to transact with them.

Mino and Purisima said they reached out to Crisostomo several times in order to liquidate what they had spent and to turn over some of their responsibilities, but he never showed up.

Like Mino and Purisima, Paras is also seeking Crisostomo, particularly on when the latter plans to pay him and rapper Ranger999.

Paras recalled that Crisostomo contacted their group in September 2022, asking them to have Range999 perform exclusively at their concert and in no other Sinulog-related events in January 2023, in exchange for P500,000.

Paras agreed with the initial plan and a formal agreement was to be signed three days before the event.

Three days prior to the event, Paras met up with Crisostomo for the event details and to formally sign the agreement.

However, the agreement signing was moved to the concert date as Paras claimed that copies of the agreement were left at his house.

One day before the event, Range999, through Paras, asked Crisostomo for a 50 percent down payment, but the latter paid him only P20,000.

Paras added that on the same day, Crisostomo tried to avoid discussing the agreement by making himself busy on the phone or roaming around the concert venue.

On the day of the concert, Paras noticed that the concert’s organizers were barely prepared.

Paras claimed that the stage was not set up, there was no holding area for the performers and meals for the performers were not given on time.

Despite the inconvenience, Paras said Range999 and his fellow performers still continued with the show, even though he told them to go home.

As for Dondon, who owns a Japanese cuisine-inspired food stall, he told SunStar Cebu that Crisostomo contacted him to provide 50 meals for staff members working at the concert.

But on the event date, Crisostomo asked Dondon to increase it to 100 meals with the promise that his business would be the only meal provider inside the concert venue.

But when Dondon and his team visited the venue, they saw other food concessionaires at the concert.

Revisit deals

Crisostomo, who sat down with SunStar Cebu for an interview Thursday, said he plans to revisit the agreements he made with the disgruntled organizers, suppliers and performers of the concert.

He also denied that he scammed those working for the concert, but he also realized that organizing a concert was very challenging physically and financially.

“Wala gyud scam nga nahitabo (No scam took place), and I have no intention of scamming everyone. I am willing to face this head-on. Daku nako nga sayup kay nganung nipadayun ko when in fact kahibaw ko sa challenges sa finances. Previously ani kay (January) 7 ang amo event, unya naa siya’y sponsors. Unya pag-move namo sa January 13 kay naay nang back out,” Crisostomo said.

(My big mistake was going through with it when in fact I knew the financial challenges. Previously, the event was set for January 7 and we had sponsors. When we moved it to January 13, some backed out.)

He also asked for understanding and patience from those accusing him of scamming them. He assured that he would pay them what he owed.