Kenyans tore into popular boy band Sauti Sol on Wednesday, December 23 after new information emerged on the cancellation of the highly anticipated Sol Saturday concert.
Fans were notified via a statement on the morning of the event, Saturday, December 19 that the show was off.
The group stated that they would be unable to perform due to Covid-19 restrictions, and were keen not to endanger lives.
Vendor Kari of Kari’s Kitchen, which was the sole caterer for the event’s VIP section, however shared a different version of events in a video shared on her Youtube page.
Kari disclosed that she had taken on a loan of Ksh300,000 to buy various foods in bulk ahead of the event. She was left stranded with two freezers full of various meats and boxes of buns, raw patties and more.
According to Kari, Sauti Sol lied about Covid-19 being the reason for the cancellation.
She claimed that the group refused to perform on Friday night, the eve of the show, stating that the stage was not up to standards in line with their acclaimed Midnight Train album.
This was despite organizers having hired sound, stage and lighting companies specifically requested by Sauti Sol as part of their agreement.
The show was being organized by two events companies, Masshouse and Tukutane.
Sauti Sol was also accused of failing to show up for a viewing on Tuesday on the week of the event, only to refuse to perform on Friday night after viewing the set-up.
According to Kari, who cited first-hand correspondence with the organizers, the band had already been paid USD30,000 (Ksh3 million) to perform at the event.
Last ditch efforts by the organizers on Friday night to convince the group to perform failed.
Notably, Sauti Sol in their cancellation statement disclosed that they would refund all monies they had received.
Kari further claimed that when Bien Aime of Sauti Sol was asked to consider the vendors and work that had gone into the show, he stated: “I don’t care. We are not performing.”
She accused the group of being inconsiderate particularly to vendors who lost huge amounts of money as well as fans.
The 22-year old entrepreneur received support from Kenyans on social media who placed orders to help her clear what would otherwise have been dead stock.
A section of Kenyans, however, backed the group noting that as one of Africa’s leading bands they were expected to deliver stunning shows and could not compromise on stage quality.
Sauti Sol is lined up to headline a virtual Christmas Concert on December 25.
Sample some of the reactions below: