A Ciara fan who led a campaign for the R’n’B star to come to Auckland stands by her idol even though she never got to see her perform.
The Grammy-winning singer’s Auckland concert, scheduled for March 3, was canned this week after a dispute erupted between the singer's management, booking agents and local promoters.
Ciara’s manager claims she was never booked for the event.
Jafs Salanoa, 27, started the “Bring Ciara to Auckland” Facebook page after the singer had earlier been scheduled to play shows in Christchurch and Porirua.
“I just love everything about her. I thought I was Ciara when I was younger, just dancing in the mirror,” she said.
“I wasn’t expecting people to like the page but then I started getting heaps of messages telling me it was a really good idea.”
Early bird and meet-and-greet tickets for the Auckland show had sold out on the Dash Tickets website before the listing was taken down about midday Monday.
Jafs was one of the fans who forked out for $110 for a meet-and-greet pass, despite Ciara failing to meet any concert-goers after her two other New Zealand shows.
“I had faith in my girl," she said.
"I didn’t mind about what happened in Christchurch and Wellington, just as long as I got to see her.”
Jafs says if she had known Ciara wasn’t going to perform she would gone to the Porirua show. She’d even booked her flights.
“There was group of us that were keen to go to Wellington but when it was announced she was coming to Auckland, we cancelled the flights.”
Despite the disappointment, Jafs said she still loves Ciara and is hoping she comes back to play a bigger and better show.
“I don’t think the Facebook page was a waste of time. Me being a big Ciara fan, I still respect her and I understand it wasn’t her fault the show was cancelled. The promoters were just money hungry at the end of the day.”
But Jafs said it was a bit of a sting to see Ciara on Instagram posing with fans in Australia.
I Am Truly Blessed With Some Of The Best Fans! It Is Is Truly Your Love And Support That Keeps Me Going!! This Second Leg Of Shows Are Done By Different People Than The Ones In New Zealand... That Being Said, I Have Talked With Them About Getting You Guys Compensated For Any VIP "Meet and Greet" You've Paid!! I Don't Believe In That!! Furthermore, Once I Discovered These Meet And Greets Truly Existed, I Am Doing Them, However The Promoters Must Compensate You In Some Way!! I Don't Support That And They Know This. Promoters Please Don't Let Me Down! It's Your Word!! #MyFansMeanEverythingToMe! #ThoseFewExtraDollarsYoureTryingToMakeDontMakeADifference ❤️
“There were some people telling me that I should make an “unfollow Ciara on Instagram” page but that was going a bit too far.”
Castor & Ford, who organised the Christchurch and Auckland shows, released a statement earlier this week saying ticket holders for both gigs would receive full or partial refunds. According to the company, Aucklanders should have their money back by now and Christchurch fans will be reimbursed early next week.
Ciara’s New Zealand tour has left fans disappointed across the country. In Christchurch, her manager allegedly demanded an extra $20,000 from concert organisers, and after turning up two hours late she performed for less than 10 minutes.
In Porirua, she showed up an hour late and played for 23 minutes.
At both shows, she failed to show up for meet and greets with fans who had paid up to $125 for tickets.
American booking agency Heavy Rotation sold booking rights for Australasian tour to Australian-based SinCity Group who in turn sold shows to Castor & Ford.
Heavy Rotation and Castor & Ford allege they were “deceived and possibly defrauded” by SinCity over details of the tour, including performance times and meeting fans.
Castor & Ford said they have contracts with that state the princess of RnB was booked to play in Auckland. “We were lied to which meant we were selling tickets to a show that could never ever happen,” general manager Vili Leuga says. “Ciara was due back in the US on 2 March. There was absolutely no way she could have played in Auckland even though Sin City told us she could.”
SinCity Group booking agent Nav De Silva said that while those contracts do exist, New Zealand organisers didn’t hold up their end of the bargain when it came to venue, transport and rider.
Leuga said his company, along with Heavy Rotation and other Australia promoters, will be taking legal action against SinCity.
In an email to The Wireless, Ciara’s manager Lisa Ellis said: “We just want this all to end.”