Monica, singer, Durham, NC, North Carolina

Durham, NC Seeks $37K Refund After Monica Is A No-Show At Bimbé Festival

A booking agent with Monica's team stated local Durham promoter, Christopher Weeks, never worked with anyone regarding the festival.

Durham, North Carolina, Mayor Leonardo Williams finds himself in the midst of a controversy after singer Monica allegedly failed to appear as the headliner at the 54th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival despite the city paying $37,000 to secure her performance.

Contracts reveal the city wrote checks totaling $45,000 to local Cary promoter Christopher Weeks to book Monica, with the final payment issued just a day before the event. According to CBS17, that check never cleared, leaving Durham out the sizable sum.

The outlet reported that Williams has defended himself since the matter unfolded, stating, “The mayor did not steal any money, and the mayor did not spend $37,000 to an unknown person.”

Weeks allegedly contracted with one of Monica’s booking agents regarding the performance. “She did not perform,” Weeks said. “Everything was done on the city’s and my part to ensure the show would happen…The discrepancies were on her end and had nothing to do with the City of Durham or myself.” However, Maurio Jackson, a booking agent with Monica’s BLUEICE Group, refuted Weeks’ statement. “Unfortunately, Chris did not work with anyone on Monica’s team for the mentioned event,” Jackson said.

The contract stipulated that a no-show of the artist would require a full refund. Weeks stated that the funds would be returned, and he would bring it back to the city once he received it.

Previously, Durham had stated, “Working with a booking agent, whom we’ve worked with and trusted for years, we have been under the impression since Jan. 19, 2024, and then reaffirmed again on Feb. 9, 2024, that arrangements had been secured for the singer to appear, and we began publicizing her appearance.”

A day before Bimbé, Monica took to social media to address the matter. In a now-deleted post, the “Angel of Mine” singer claimed she was entirely unaware of the event. She confirmed to fans that she would not appear at the festival due to other scheduled performances and having no prior knowledge of the event. According to Mayor Williams, festival attendees pulled up to support their community and other artists in the festival’s lineup despite their disappointment with Monica’s absence.

Williams assured that the money would be returned to Durham, and their open investigation would reveal more information about the incident.