Prince's Addison concert: What really happened?

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 6 at 10:54 AM

ADDISON — It's Super Bowl party central this weekend, but it's the party that didn't happen that has everyone talking.

Prince canceled his $1,500-a-ticket performance last night in Addison. Three students — including violinist Scarlett Deering and guitarist Annie Dingwall — were scheduled to be part of the event.

They sat in a hotel room for nearly two hours waiting to hear from organizers about their opportunity of a lifetime.

"I was very angry and upset, and I felt like it wasn't fair that no one ever came and told us what was going on," Deering said.

The two scholarship recipients were scheduled to go on stage and be recognized at a Friday night concert headlined by Prince at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addison.

The event was canceled Friday night, something that didn't surprise attorney Steve Khoury.

"It was pretty clear, pretty early, that this party boat wasn't coming in," he said.

Three of Khoury's clients — potential investors — dropped out three weeks ago. "My investors were willing to put up the kind of money they were asking to be invested," he said. "The fee being negotiated by Prince was on the order of a million-five, a million-seven — with benefits."

Khoury said he saw the written agreement, which was not signed.

Event organizer Chris Arnold of the River Alexander Group maintains there was a signed contract, but he refused to discuss it.

"I don't want to go into any of these details that are confidential," he said, adding that there were several problems leading up to the planned event — including weather and money.

The concert was intended to benefit the Goss-Michael Foundation, which "exists in order to provide a forum for British Contemporary art by presenting exhibitions, programs and resources to educate, engage, and inspire youth and adult audiences in the Dallas area and abroad," according to its Web site.

"Kennny Goss and I are extremely disappointed," according to a statement issued Saturday afternoon by the foundation's executive director Joyce Goss. "It continues to be our understanding that River Alexander Group, the event organizer, was unable to fund and produce the evening. Up to the very last minute they assured us the 'show would go on.'"

Arnold says he accepts the blame. "Hindsight is 20/20, and we're guilty of believing in the event," he said. "Everybody believed in it so much, and I want to say I'm personally responsible."

Deering and Dingwall will have their expenses reimbursed by the foundation. Still, they told News 8 their talents are worth more than the treatment they received.

"Even if you aren't Prince, everybody, their time is worth something, and so I just say... maybe think of other people next time."

Arnold said ticket holders should start getting their money back next week.

"I'd hate to be someone now trying to get my money back," Khoury said.

Prince's manager told the New York Post that his client was excited about the performance, but that organizers were not able to bring him and his band to Dallas on Friday.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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