Former Riverfest Booker Gives Perspective on CeeLo

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- $50,000 is on the line in a potential dispute between Riverfest and musician CeeLo Green.
Riverfest officials had expected to hear from CeeLo's camp Tuesday, but it never happened.

Even some CeeLo supporters have a bad taste in their mouth after his Saturday night performance.

"Even though I couldn't make it, I was disappointed to hear about it," said CeeLo fan, Taleba Fogle.

Riverfest officials say Ceelo came out 35 minutes late and was on stage for only about half the 75 to 90 minutes mandated in his contract.

"This is pretty unusual really," said Tim Jones, a former talent booker who worked with Riverfest from the late 1990's through 2006. "The financial arrangements are fairly simple."

There's a deposit. In this case about $50,000 paid to Ceelo in advance, according to Riverfest officials.  Another similar-sized check was handed over before the performance but was canceled after.

"When you're dealing with somebody who's an independent contractor basically they can behave in ways that are unpredictable," Jones said. 

Riverfest officials say the first 35 minutes of the show consisted of a performance branded as the "CeeLo Experience."  But CeeLo wasn't on stage.

"There is a tradition in R&B and soul music for the band to come out and do kind of a warm up," said Jones. 

But Riverfest officials say the contract specified that it was CeeLo himself that was supposed to be on stage for the allotted time. 

And when you're talking about 100-grand -- time is money.

"He deserves the pay, but if he didn't do the performance as in the contract I can understand only giving him half the pay," said Fogle.

Fox 16's calls and emails to Ceelo's management company haven't been returned.


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