Conflict between a show producer and venue operator led to the abrupt end of a residency by a cappella quintet Mo5aic at Bally’s.
The vocal quintet opened June 5 in the second-floor Windows Showroom leased from Caesars Entertainment, and invited media and family to a grand opening on June 22.
But only a week later, what producers characterized as a week’s hiatus apparently become permanent after issues between show producer AFG Entertainment and Ken Walker, who operates the second-floor show space.
Walker told the Review-Journal on Monday that an email from co-producer Timothy Arellano read as though AFG was pulling the show from his venue: “They canceled the whole thing on a moment’s notice.”
Arellano said Tuesday the email citing “way too many issues outstanding” was more of a request to “clear up the issues.”
The group canceled Monday because one of the singers was having vocal troubles, and the rest of this week was already a scheduled break to allow the group to perform out of town, Arellano said.
“Given the copious technical problems at Windows showroom and Ken Walker’s obstinate approach to problem solving, the producers decided to extend the dark period until the issues were resolved,” AFG said in a prepared statement.
Both sides now agree it’s unlikely the quintet will reopen at Bally’s. Arellano said the ongoing issues ranged from sound and technical problems to the amount of advertising space within Bally’s.
Walker agreed the split was permanent, but cited the host property as the reason. “Once you exit with Bally’s, especially on such a short notice, you’re never coming back into that room again.”
Both sides agree they never had a signed contract, but differ on the terms of the arrangement.
“The terms that he wanted were not acceptable,” Arellano says of the contract, “but after that (impasse), we just thought we’d try it out for a 30-day trial and see what happens.”
Walker says “It was never on a trial basis. I don’t take people on a trial basis.”
Both sides agree revenues from ticket sales channeled through Walker as venue operator. Arellano says the producers have been questioning “overcharges and unresolved billing issues” for the past two weeks.
Walker “creates bills and takes the funds before the show sees the money, not an arrangement you want with someone you do not trust,” the producers say in the statement.
“He has to be profitable (to see a distribution), ” Walker countered. “Their ticket sales never met the rent,” so the producers were expected to make up the difference of $2,100 rent per week.
The vocal quintet — Josh Huslig, Roopak Ahuja, Heath Burgett, Corwyn Hodges and Jake Moulton — previously performed at the hotel that’s now the Westgate Las Vegas under the helm of a different producer, Landon Balding.
Arellano says he will find a new venue for Mo5aic. “AFG Entertainment has always put the boys first,” he said of the group.
Read more from Mike Weatherford at bestoflasvegas.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.