Prince tells promoter to 'chill' over gig


POP SUPERSTAR Prince had said “Tell that cat to chill” when told of anxieties of music promoter Denis Desmond about whether the artist’s Croke Park concert in summer 2008 would proceed, the Commercial Court was told yesterday.

Keith Sarkisian, an executive with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, said he had acted for Prince in negotiations for the gig, scheduled for Croke Park on June 16th, 2008, but was only told by Prince two weeks beforehand that he would not play in Dublin.

Mr Sarkisian said he and a colleague were informed at a meeting with Prince at the performer’s home on June 3rd, 2008, that he would not perform the Dublin gig.

The executive was giving evidence on the second day of the action by MCD for €1.7 million over cancellation of the gig. The proceedings are against Prince Rogers Nelson and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC (WMEE), Beverly Hills, California.Prince has claimed WMEE had no authority to bind him to the Croke Park concert, but it has rejected those claims.

WMEE, one of the world’s largest entertainment management companies, pleads it acted at all times as agents for Prince under an agreement of August 2005, with express authority to negotiate on Prince’s behalf for the purpose of securing bookings. It pleads the decision to cancel was outside its control, and denies negligence, breach of duty or misrepresentation.

Yesterday, Mr Sarkisian told Gráinne Clohessy, for WMEE, that the agency represented Prince from 2005, and its job was to act for and protect the artist’s interests. The point of contact with Prince was the artist’s assistant, Ruth Arzate, he said.

Dublin had been confirmed by Prince in late February 2008 as far as the agency was concerned, he said. There were also discussions between WMEE and Prince about playing more gigs, as there had been offers to play at locations including Denmark, Italy, Holland, Germany and the UK.

At no point during his correspondence and communications with Prince, which mainly went through Ms Arzate, was WMEE informed Prince wished to cancel the Dublin show, he said.

After the show was confirmed, he attended two dinner meetings at Prince’s house, he said. At no point was he told about any problems with Prince playing Dublin.

The case continues.