[This story by Mario Tarradell originally appeared Feb. 6, 2011:]
The Super Bowl weekend concert that was to feature superstar Prince and local favorite Erykah Badu has left a pile of unanswered questions and a wave of disenchantment in the wake of its collapse Friday night.
The intended beneficiary, the Goss-Michael Foundation, on Saturday issued a terse statement of regret for the miserable outcome and recrimination against the concert organizer.
Meanwhile, participants are upset -- including Scarlett Deering, one of the Goss-Michael Foundation scholarship recipients scheduled to perform at what was touted as "theEvent."
Scarlett, daughter of well-known local musician Milo Deering, said, "Nobody really told us anything" about the cancellation of the big-ticket concert. She and her father arrived at 6:45 p.m. Friday at the InterContinental Hotel in Addison for the sound check. Scarlett, a classically trained violinist with a rock edge, was to perform before Badu took the stage.
"We wandered around and noticed that the stage was not completely set up," said her father. "I'm a musician, and I immediately knew there was no way to have a sound check. The stage just wasn't set up."
Scarlett flew to Dallas at her own expense from Boston, where she's a junior at the Berklee College of Music. "[I] broke down a little bit. It was an awesome opportunity. It's a shame that it had to fall through," she said.
It wasn't until 8:30 p.m. that the Deerings were told about the bash's cancellation by a volunteer who went to the colonnade room where the performers were waiting for direction, Milo said.
Joyce Goss, executive director of the Goss-Michael Foundation, addressed the debacle in a statement Saturday:
"Last night, we faced a disappointment that is immeasurable for us, our scholarship recipients and our supporters. Both Kenny Goss and I are extremely disappointed that theEvent featuring Prince was canceled. It continues to be our understanding that River Alexander Group, the event organizer, was unable to fund and produce the evening. Up to the very last minute they assured us the 'show would go on.'"
Representatives of the River Alexander Group couldn't be reached for a response late Saturday afternoon.
Barbara Buzzell, a spokeswoman for Kenny Goss, said there would be no further comment. Goss, who is Joyce Goss' brother-in-law, is the owner of the local art institution along with his partner, pop singer George Michael. A call to Black Book Ink, the local public relations company promoting the benefit, was not returned.
It is still unclear whether Prince ever made it to Dallas. Local sports radio and TV reporter Chris Arnold, the evening's emcee and one of the organizers, told the crowd Friday night that he could not confirm whether Prince arrived in Dallas.
"His band is here, the equipment is here, unfortunately it just didn't happen," Arnold said. "Blame me for the event not happening. ... Prince would not have been involved in this if he didn't want to be here."
The concert seemed sketchy earlier in the week. First, the venue was changed from a tent on the former Reunion Arena site to the hotel in Addison. On Friday, a release alerted the media that the $1,500 tickets were two-for-one. Mere hours later, another release from the Goss-Michael Foundation said that the production company couldn't fund it, and that "theEvent" was canceled. Less than an hour after that came a third missive that proclaimed: "Prince has arrived in Dallas and will perform this evening."
For those who shelled out the money and showed up expecting to see Prince and Badu, refunds will be available at the point of purchase. Scarlett Deering has been promised that her travel expenses will be reimbursed. But her chance to perform on the same stage as a superstar is now a memory.
"I'm pretty upset that I almost got to play with Prince," she said.
Staff writers Rob Clark and Dawn Burkes contributed to this report.
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