By Luke Johnson
The XO Music Festival wasted an estimated $500,000, according to Director Sami “Styles” Habib.
The three-day event was canceled because World Class Entertainment did not provide proper insurance by this morning’s deadline, according to Joe Brengle, CEO of Contra Costa Event Park.
“We are the ones who are victimized here,” Habib said.
He added that his party supplied multiple sources for insurance, but they were rejected by Contra Costa Event Park. However, Brengle said those insurance agreements did not fulfill the park’s requirements.
The XO Music Festival faced several allegations online of being a scam over the past few weeks.
However, Brengle disagrees with those accusations and said the event’s management team was guilty of being too ambitious.
“I believe it wasn’t a scam,” he said. “I think they bit off more than they could chew.”
Brengle added that the negative media attention toward the event had nothing to do with its discontinuation.
The event organizers billed 100-plus artists — with marquee names such as T.I., Ludacris, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and the Bay Area’s own Mistah F.A.B. — to perform on seven different stages throughout the park. It also advertised stand-up comedy, carnival rides, roller skating and a foam pit, among other activities.
Habib said ticket sales were much lower than expected, but buyers were instantly refunded through the ticket agency, GrowTix.
Initially, Habib said the music festival lost approximately $750,000, but later said $500,000 was a more accurate number. He then said the financial loss was “definitely” in the six figures. He declined to comment when asked who provided those funds.
Brengle confirmed that Contra Costa Event Park kept $27,500 from the full rental agreement. He explained that money was already spent in preparation for this festival and it was too late to book another event for this weekend.
Habib is facing real estate fraud charges under the name Habidulla Qidar, according to CBS. He and his brother were identified by Fremont Police for being arrested in February involving a fraudulent home rental scheme.
Regarding the event’s authenticity, many people expressed concerns online about some artists’ performing schedules. Both Ludacris and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are promoted for the Chalice Festival in Southern California this weekend. However, Habib said musicians often book two shows in one day and it was requested by their agencies.
Habib said he plans to eventually produce the XO Music Festival, but at a new location.