Agent agrees to pay back Durham after singer Monica fails to show up at Bimbé festival

Cindy Bae Image
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Agent to pay Durham back after singer Monica no shows at festival
Chris Weeks has agreed to pay back the City of Durham $37,000 after singer Monica failed to show at the 2024 Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival in May.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Chris Weeks has agreed to pay back the City of Durham $37,000 after singer Monica failed to show at the 2024 Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival in May.

"I accept responsibility for the contract being breached. Unfortunately, the contract wasn't breached by me," Weeks said. He also apologized to the City of Durham.

Weeks said he's responsible for the agreement with the City of Durham but said he believes Monica's representatives should be responsible as well.

I found out that she wasn't coming when everyone else found out -- when she posted the video. I hate that it happened on my watch, and I hate that there was a rush to judgment as to what actually happened.
- Chris Weeks, booking agent

He told ABC11 exclusively that the ball was dropped when her representatives double-booked the artist without his knowledge and the responsibility fell on him to pay back the City of Durham.

"Monica deals with a cadre of folks that provide her guidance and live performance, and she had two different people bringing her two different opportunities," Weeks said. "Bimbé was the one that was tossed aside, and when it was tossed aside, I was tossed under the bus."

Weeks has 25 years of experience as a booking agent, including past experiences where he's booked artists for Bimbé. He said there have been multiple times in his career when artists have not shown up, but he said this is the first time an artist claimed they knew nothing about it.

Monica has said on social media she was never contacted, nor contracted to perform at Bimbé, but Weeks said there are supporting documents that show the agreement to book her.

ABC11 has reached out to Monica's representatives for comment.

"I found out that she wasn't coming when everyone else found out -- when she posted the video," Weeks said. "I hate that it happened on my watch, and I hate that there was a rush to judgment as to what actually happened."

The City of Durham said Weeks has paid an initial $5,000 and will make 10 additional payments of $3,200, starting July 2024 until April 2025, when the total amount would be paid in full.

Weeks' full statement is below:

"I have reached an agreement with the City of Durham to ensure that they receive the entire amount they invested in the headliner Monica for Bimbé festival. While $37,000 is a large amount to pay for an experience, I am glad that I was able to learn from this. Here is what I learned:

We are quick to cast judgment and quick to do whatever it takes to avoid responsibility.

I signed a contract with the city and attempted to deliver an artist as I have signed a thousand contracts in my career. The contract that I signed with the city was specific that regardless what happens with subcontractors or third-party participants, it should and will not impact my requirement to perform the contract. Therefore, I am responsible for the agreement, which is what I agreed to on Monday.

I have started my process to ensure that I get the money back from Monica's representatives, who I had a contract with as well as supporting documentation that validated the agreement. That team making a decision to choose the Baltimore show over the Durham show and claim that the Bimbé festival was not in (their) work schedule is not true and there is also supporting documentation for that. As funds are recovered from that team, they will immediately be applied to the bill at the City of Durham. It should be very clear at this point that this situation placed me in a position of reliance on a contract that was not fulfilled and left me responsible and that at no point was there anything on my part that was done in any way but reputable. I have 25 years of experience and thousands of people who can attest to that.

My passion to participate in good family fun for Durham was the only thing that motivated me to participate in Bimbé for the past 3 years and this unfortunate contract dispute has made it less than fun at this point. My apologies to Durham."