The superstar was supposed to perform Friday night at TheEvent, a concert with Erykah Badu that was to be a fundraiser for The Goss-Michael Foundation, the art group founded by George Michael and his longtime partner, Kenny Goss.
But the performance never happened, and the circumstances surrounding the cancelation were as mysterious as the Purple One himself.
Things started falling apart early Friday, when a statement of disappointment was sent by the foundation saying the concert was canceled.
“It is our understanding that River Alexander Group, the event organizer, was unable to fund and produce the evening,” the statement said. “The organizer came to The Goss-Michael Foundation, invited us to be the beneficiary and receive some of the proceeds which would have gone to our high school scholarship program.”
Then the statement was rescinded shortly after that, saying the concert was back on: “Prince has arrived in Dallas and will perform this evening.”
But the concert, recently moved from a tent in downtown Dallas to a hotel just north of the city, never materialized Friday night, and a source close to Prince, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he never came to Dallas.
Prince’s camp said the organizers never arranged for transportation for him and his band. Prince was also worried that the disorganization meant the organizers would not have the technical aspects necessary for him to put on his performance, the source said.
“Prince is extremely disappointed that the organizers, the Meridian Entertainment Group and the River Alexander Group … were unable bring him and his band to Dallas,” the source said. “They say that apparently they lost their investors and were unable to adequately fund the event. Prince was looking forward to performing in support of the Goss-Michael Foundation.”
Dallas radio and TV personality Chris Arnold, the event’s emcee and organizer, insisted Prince’s band arrived and set up at the hotel in the afternoon, but Prince never made it to Dallas.
Arnold said people didn’t know the event was canceled until they showed up, and he apologized for that.
“I just want to let everybody know that I am truly sorry,” Arnold said.
He said people who bought tickets to the show – which cost up to $1,500 – would have their money refunded at the point of purchase.
“It was a very, very exciting thing that didn’t happen unfortunately,” Arnold said.