PaintDrop LLC, a company out of Ohio, has been around since 2012. They started by throwing their own paint parties with local DJs at Ohio State, and then branched to the Carolinas. A former promoter stopped PaintDrop in its tracks when he stole their company image in 2015.
“It’s really about a small-time promoter taking a brand and using social media to scam hundreds into buying tickets to an event that never was planned to begin with,” says PaintDrop’s official correspondence.
Kingsley Bosnu, also known as Prince Kingsley, or just Prince, was a promoter for PaintDrop in Cincinnati. Sometime around 2015, events started showing up on Facebook advertising “Neon Splash- America’s Largest Paint Party” in cities all over the United States.
Consequently, these events have quite a few key details missing; venue location, start and end time, host name, and contact information just to name a few. Links on the page take users to a real ticket site. Some of the links will allow a person to buy a ticket. The event, in reality, has not been scheduled and will not happen. As a result, more than a few people lost money.
Kingsley posed as the owner of their own company. He hired DJs and promoters to grow the “business.” We contacted a local artist named DJ Phluf who worked alongside Kingsley before he knew what was really up.
“He, [Kingsley] did sketchy business, to begin with. I had to sell tickets…which is unheard of in the DJ community and also found other DJ’s to fill slots…I was paid a base pay plus a percent of tickets that I sold…but only here in Tulsa”
(Selling tickets, aka “Pay to Play” is a strategy some promoters use. They have artists sell tickets to secure a slot in a show. Artists do not prefer this, as it might not guarantee a time slot at the show. They do not always receive a paycheck for their appearance).
According to Phluf, there were three events that were legitimate and did happen. According to the strategy, new events show venues there are a group of people ready and willing to buy tickets, should a venue in that city choose to host them.
“I have asked [Kingsley] why he does this and he said that’s his strategy…I didn’t know he sold tickets to fake events until about a week or so ago. After that person from [the Pittsburgh show] confronted him about the tickets that were sold…he changed his number and then went on to say everything got ‘hijacked.’”
DJ Phluf put up a fight for his paycheck. His photographer and other promoters did not see one. After those events, Kingsley disappeared and was not reachable by phone or social media.
There isn’t a way to know for sure if Kingsley had good intentions when he began. He may have run out of money, or not had enough of a start-up plan. The next year or so would spell out the criminal acts that Kingsley is committing, however.
If you google “Neon Splash US”, you will find that the website does not exist. Neon Splash is a paint party company that operates out of Europe. They do not throw any type of shows in the United States. There is only one show this month, and there are no other tour dates available on the site. PaintDrop’s real website is inactive.
Dragging the promotional images into Google search links back to the original photographer Robert Meerding, of Amsterdam. Meerding did not respond to a request for comment. The photographer does not receive credit on the page.
A woman named Nichole was posting on almost all of the event pages warning people not to buy tickets. Other people were responding that they had tried to buy them, and had lost the money.
We spoke to Nichole about her experience with the fake Neon Splash events. She had contacted a venue in Little Rock, Arkansas to ask what time the paint party would begin. As such, the venue scheduled another show and did not have any record of the paint party.
“I went to the contact page for them [Metroplex] and called the main line on July 1st. Left [a] voicemail I’m sure was rather hilarious. A man, I think Jared, returned my call in no more than 30 minutes. He confirmed my suspicion about it not being legit.”
According to PaintDrop’s official page, this is theft of intellectual property. Removal of the false Facebook events is a priority. The owner of the company isn’t hopeful, as Facebook does not believe the events violate any type of community standards. “They need to be stopped. [Kingsley] is killing my chance of ever expanding to those cities. I hate the dude who scams all these cities tainting my name. I came up with like this brand is genius and he’s actually ruining it.”
Facebook does not remove the pages if users click the “report” button. It only allows you to block the page from your personal timeline. If someone calls the event out as a scam, the person behind the page blocks them.
Do not respond to any Facebook events for “Neon Splash.” Do not buy tickets, and do not share the event. The more people who are aware of this scam, the less power Kingsley has.