Friday, February 4, 2011 , Updated 5:21 p.m., February 5, 2011
UPDATED: Who exactly was behind the failed Prince Super Bowl concert?
Cancellation news came straight from the lips of Dallas Mavericks commentator Chris Arnold.
DALLAS The ballyhooed on-again/off-again Super Bowl show starring Prince on Friday ended up being a bust, as attendees found out when they showed up at Hotel InterContinental and were told the event was canceled.
The show was advertised as "an all-inclusive soiree the includes music, art, food, spirits, and more" that featured a "rare performance by Prince" and opening act Erykah Badu, plus Goss-Michael Foundation scholarship winners, DJs, and "additional special guests."
An attendee at the show who asked not to be identified described a confusing scene in which approximately 100 ticket-holders waited in the lobby hotel to be allowed up to the second level where a deluxe gourmet food spread was purportedly laid out.
As the hour drew closer, Dallas Mavericks commentator Chris Arnold -- who'd been tweeting up the event since December 31, including sharing a password to buy tickets -- emerged and announced that although Prince's band had made it, Prince himself had not, and the whole thing was called off. He also told ticket-holders that their money would be refunded.
The mystery is, who were the organizers of the event? A promised "one on one" with the organizer fell through for Unfair Park, and none of the memos or releases issued throughout this debacle make it clear who was behind it all.
On the PrinceDallas website -- whose ticking clock is mistakenly set a day late, and which still had tickets for sale on Friday night at 10 p.m. -- three parties are listed: 1. The Goss-Michael Foundation, 2. River Alexander Group, and 3. Elevate.
It surely isn't Goss-Michael; they'd already started to back-pedal by 1:30 p.m. when they sent out a press release distancing themselves from the event. And Elevate is a ticketing company.
Our attention turns to River Alexander Group, a newly formed organization that filed its incorporation pages on December 27, 2010. According to a Secretary of State Business Organizations inquiry (photo above), River Alexander's registered agent is listed as William C. Arnold, with a second manager listed as Eric Dunn.
River Alexander Group's offices previously housed an organization called D Minor & Associates, as well as a company called Nia's Enchanted Hair Boutique. Drevelyn Minor owned the property in 2003, but according to DCAD, the current owner is Chris Arnold.
Chris Arnold did not return emails or calls.
Hotel InterContinental confirmed that the event had been canceled at 8:30 p.m. A call center for the event, set up by organizers at the hotel, was already dismantled by 9:30 p.m.
Attendees felt burned by the experience. The Hotel InterContinental staffer said that some had come by the front desk to register their complaints, and were frustrated that the call center had disappeared.
"It seemed fishy that they weren't letting us upstairs," said our anonymous attendee. "There's no way they didn't know sooner, or they would have had to have the food and drink out. After Chris came down to say the event was canceled, they had a bunch of hotel staff standing in front of the escalators, with their arms folded to make sure no one went up."
UPDATE: Chris Arnold called to say that he wasn't trying to evade calls and that he and his partner Eric Dunn "tried real hard to make it happen," and were sorry it did not.
"I'm not hiding from anybody, that's why I stayed down at the hotel and talked to people," he said. "It was very disappointing, it was a sad situation.
"Everybody wanted this event to happen," he said. "We faced a number of struggles but we never stopped because no one who was involved wanted to see it get canceled. Any time it looked like it might not happen, someone would step up and say, we can get this done. No one wanted to cancel it right when the doors open. But we had conflicting reports. We didn't have accurate information and by the time we did, it was too late."
Arnold says that the reports that Prince was in town and drove by the venue are untrue.
"He never did come to town," Arnold said. "His band was here, his crew was here. They set up his equipment. Prince really did want to come. It's kindof heartbreaking. Everybody worked hard. No one did this for any other reason than it would be great to do. From Prince to Erykah to the Goss-Michael Foundation to everybody. No one is at fault. The only fault anybody had was that nobody wanted to stop moving forward and try to get it done."
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