Dion Promoter Jailed In Dubai

The promoter responsible for Celine Dion’s chaotic tour of South Africa was jailed hours before her final show in Dubai and told he can’t leave the country until he’s settled his debts.

Duncan Heafield, whose nine-date South America run for the Canadian singing star left a trail of chaos and debt, was released in time for the March 6 show at Dubai Rugby Club but the local authorities have held on to his passport.

Josh Groban has pulled out of the Heafield-promoted South African shows he was due to start next week, leaving Ticket Connection – the company he formed when he fell out with Computicket – to refund the 40,000-plus fans who’ve already bought tickets.

Groban is expected to reschedule his South African dates for later in the year. Attie van Wyk of Big Concerts, who’s currently in negotiations to sell his company to Live Nation, is expected to take over as promoter.

The Dion tour nearly stalled in South Africa when Hazel Feldman, another of the country’s top promoters, obtained a US$2 million judgment against Heafield in the High Court in Pretoria.

Ticket Connection paid the money from box office takings and the tour limped on, to close at Johannesburg Monte Casino March 1. It wasn’t possible to get comment from Heafield at press time.