After a day of "it's canceled," wait "no it isn't" announcements on Friday the big event at theEvent was a no-show -- of star performer Prince.
NBCDFW's photographer went to the concert only to have an event organizer announce at 8 p.m. that Prince would not perform.
Our crews witnessed 20-25 people waiting at 8 p.m. to check in for theEvent (which was moved to the Hotel InterContinental from the previously announced site of the former Reunion Arena), but that included media. No word on how many people planned to show up late and had no idea there was no concert.
The Off/On/Off Switch
It was a disappointing end to a confusing day.
First came a statement just before 1:30 p.m. Friday from The Goss-Michael Foundation explained the party would be canceled and blamed the cancellation on the event's organizer:
“It is our understanding that River Alexander Group, the event organizer, was unable to fund and produce the evening. The organizer came to The Goss-Michael Foundation, invited us to be the beneficiary and receive some of the proceeds which would have gone to our high school scholarship program.”
Then just after 2:15 p.m. The Goss-Michael Foundation sent a new note that rescinded the previous.
"Circumstances have changed and TheEvent featuring Prince WILL take place this evening. The previous statement is rescinded. Prince has arrived in Dallas and will perform this evening."
A source close to Prince, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he never came to Dallas.
Prince's camp said the organizers never arranged for transportation for him and his band. Prince was also worried that the disorganization meant the organizers would not have the technical aspects necessary for him to put on his performance, the source said.
"Prince is extremely disappointed that the organizers, the Meridian Entertainment Group and the River Alexander Group ... were unable bring him and his band to Dallas," the source said. "They say that apparently they lost their investors and were unable to adequately fund the event. Prince was looking forward to performing in support of the Goss-Michael Foundation."
Last Minute Notice
Dallas radio and TV personality Chris Arnold, the event's emcee and organizer, insisted Prince's band arrived and set up at the hotel in the afternoon, but Prince never made it to Dallas.
Arnold said people didn't know the event was canceled until they showed up, and he apologized for that.
"I just want to let everybody know that I am truly sorry," Arnold said.
He said people who bought tickets to the show -- which cost $1,500 per ticket and even more for VIP packages -- would have their money refunded at the point of purchase.
On Friday, the day of the event, the tickets were suddenly being offered at a two-for-one price, late ticket buyers could enter the promo code "purple" to get two tickets for $1500, which is leading many to believe low ticket sales may have also played a major role in the cancellation.
On Saturday afternoon, Joyce Goss, the executive director for the foundation, called the cancellation an immeasurable disappointment for "us, our scholarship recipients and our supporters."
Goss said the River Alexander Group assured the foundation there would be a show until the very end and noted that scholarship winners were supposed to have appeared onstage with Prince and Badu.
"I have personally reached out to each one of them and assured them that their expenses related to this situation will be fully reimbursed," she added.