5,000 mile trip ends in disappointment with canceled concert

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, May 15, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Eight-year-old James Johnson is one of millions of young people around the world bobbing their heads to hip-hop sensation Soulja Boy, who is, in one word, big.

"Really big to me," said James.

The Soulja Boy dance is a YouTube phenomena that gave the 17-year-old artist the highest selling hip-hop debut album in 2007.

"It's an outstanding dance. Kids and adults can enjoy it too," said James.

"I do Soulja Boy with them sometimes...but not today," said the grandmother in the family, Stephanie Louallen. She says she had no idea Soulja Boy was coming to the James Brown Arena this weekend.

"No, if I had known that...believe me, that eight-year-old would have wanted to go," said Stephanie.

It turns out not one dime of the arena's $50,000 marketing budget went toward advertisement.

"We were not asked by the promoters," said coliseum authority chair Keith Brown.

Even still, Stephanie says something should have been done. "Pass out fliers, have other people pass out fliers so that he will come here, because he is enjoyed here and everywhere else. We just need to know."

The show was canceled because less than 200 tickets sold. It was a crushing reality for some. "It's really terrible. We really took a long way," said Nicole Kerscher, who traveled 5,500 miles. "Now I'm down. I can't believe this," said Nicole.

Nicole and her friend Micha traveled all the way from Germany for the concert. "We say OK, let's go to Augusta. We came here to see him, and yeah, I don't know, it's crazy," Micha said.

"We need to concentrate more on what needs to happen in this area to get the word out," Brown said.

In the meantime...at least two people face a long trip back home.

"Today I was happy...I thought, yeah, we go to Soulja Boy tomorrow...and we see it's canceled," said Micha.

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