The University of Hawaii’s athletics’s program was already in the red when it decided to throw a concert featuring Stevie Wonder to raise money. But now the school may be even deeper in the hole consider Stevie Wonder knew nothing of the event, he’s not available on the day the school was planning to hold it, and they’ve already put up $200,000 for it. How does this happen? Over eager athletic directors and foreign scammers.
About 6,000 people have already purchased tickets to what would have been the August 18th concert, but now the school will have to refund all the money because according to UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan:
“The event was booked by an unauthorized third party without the knowledge or consent of Mr. Wonder’s representatives.”
Hawaii News Now reported live from the short press conference held on the scam at the school today, writing:
The UH is demanding a refund of $200,000 it paid as a deposit for the concert, “sent on behalf of a local promoter,” Donovan said. He identified the promoter as Bob Peyton, of BPE Productions.
“Any cancellation was done without my agreement,” Peyton said via email late Tuesday. Creative Artists Agency “has no role in this show and the UH administration was stampeded by a power LA agency.”
Asked what happened, Peyton said, “The UH sent a direct wire transfer (of $200,000) from state funds to the booking agent’s escrow account. I too wired $50,000 of my company’s funds to the same account to hold my agreement with the UH.”
“Because of the UH’s untimely cancellation, they put my 50k in jeopardy too,” Peyton said.
Peyton claimed he signed a deal with a company called Epic-Talent, whom he referred to as “Stevie’s agents on this matter.”
At UH’s Bachman Hall earlier Tuesday afternoon, Donovan met with UH President MRC Greenwood and UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple to discuss the situation.
Asked if UH was going to be out of some money, Apple told Hawaii News Now, “I hope not. I can’t tell you, yet.”
Sources said Greenwood did not know about the concert deal before it was announced by UH athletic officials in late June and she was upset that it had fallen apart.
Someone claiming to be Wonder’s “European representative” claimed to have booked the deal, but the performer’s only agent is Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, a source said.
Sounds like a Craigslist scam on a massive scale. The athletic’s director has already been placed on administrative leave because of this incident and that could very likely be bumped up to a full firing considering his five-year, $240,000 annual contract is up in March.
Despite all of the other information he gave, when asked who actually authorized the concert and signed the contract he shut the questions down and ended the press conference, stating:
I’m not going to comment on that at this time.”
He better bring home some victories next season or it’s game over, literally, for his athletics career.
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