Promoter, Toronto Police comment on cancelled NXNE showcase [Article]
Toronto, ON – NXNE kicked off amidst some controversy last night with the cancellation of the SmashMouth Mentality Showcase. Scheduled to take place at The Rivoli, the show, which was going to feature performances by acts like Rich Kidd, The Antiheros, Denzil Porter and Tre Nyce, was shut down before it even began.
According to Toronto Police Media Relations, police visited The Rivoli yesterday afternoon to speak with the owner and manager about security measures for the showcase.
“What happened was police spoke to The Rivoli,” said Victor Kwong of the Toronto Police. “As we normally do, we keep in touch with the venue owners for security issues. It was brought up whether or not they had enough security for the concert. The venue then went to the concert promoter and asked for increased security. The concert promoter said they would not be providing increased security. And so the venue cancelled that show.” [More]
However, SmashMouth Entertainment’ Branden Hewko says he first found out his own event was cancelled when The Rivoli tweeted yesterday afternoon:
“We regret to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control tonight’s SmashMouth NXNE showcase @TheRivoli has been canceled.”
“I was getting ready to head down to Toronto and I was on Twitter and I saw The Rivoli tweet the showcase was cancelled. I sent out some emails to NXNE representatives that I’d been working with and to my contact at Rivoli. And I got a call from Crispin Giles, (Programming Manager at NXNE) and he said the gang unit and the Toronto police went to the venue in the afternoon and said they had some tips come in about some of the artists on the bill having possible gang affiliation and there being a gang rivalry.”
Here’s where the story takes another twist.
One of the artists included in SmashMouth’s showcase was Tre Nyce, of Vancouver. There is also a Tre Nice (notice the difference in spelling) from Toronto, who was featured on TnT’s mixtape Bout 2 Blow in 2008. TnT, and more broadly the Sick Thugs crew, have been linked to last week’s Eaton Centre shooting that killed two and wounded five others.
One source has speculated a potential issue between the two Tre’s regarding the similarities in their names, which dates back several years. A few years ago, a huge debate ensued on the HipHopCanada message board about this very subject, although it was never clear if it was strictly squabbling between fans or if parties in question were actually involved. Regardless, both artists maintained their names and nothing ever came of it.
(Click here to see a message board thread from 2010 where HipHopCanada users question if a certain song by Tre Nyce is directed at Tre Nice).
Either of these situations could explain the reported suspicions by Toronto Police.
Despite this coincidence, Kwong denied Toronto Police having any issue with specific performers on the bill, saying instead this was simply a matter of asking questions of the venue about the expected attendance and number of security personnel.
“I didn’t hear that,” said Kwong. “We didn’t go in there about gangs or anything. It was safety measures, it wasn’t even specific to that show. It wasn’t about those performers it was the show in general.”
Kwong also added “I don’t know any laws that allow us to cancel a concert.”
According to Kwong, after police asked questions about safety measures, the venue contacted the promoter and requested he provide additional security and he refused, thus the show was cancelled.
Hewko says he was never asked to provide additional security and actually presented that as a solution to the problem when speaking to NXNE programming manager Crispin Giles. Unfortunately, according to Hewko, by that time The Rivoli had decided on their own the show wasn’t going to happen.
Hewko then looked into finding an alternate venue, but was unsuccessful due to the time constraints.
The Rivoli has yet to return calls and emails requesting comment on this matter. We will update you as soon as we know more.
Media relations for NXNE declined to comment on the situation saying it was beyond their control.
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada