Patrick Allocco has some loyal high school buddies.
Lawrence Gorzelnik and Greg Bach graduated with Allocco, CEO of AllGood Concerts in Convent Station, in 1979. Together, they are working hard to see that their friend is allowed to leave Angola.
Allocco and his son, Patrick Jr., are in a hotel in Luanda, the Angolan capital. They were taken into custody New Year’s Day after a New Year’s Eve concert with Rapper Nas that they promoted failed to materialize. Though released from police custody, they remain in a hotel.
Allocco has said that even though he's secured the money owed to a Angolan promoter, confusing and contradictory statements from local authorities and the Angolan promoter leave him in limbo. as well.
A Free the Alloccos Facebook page is a “major component” of the campaign, Gorzelnik said. They also set up a website and are in the process of setting up a method of taking donations to help the Morris Township promoter.
“The money is very important,” Gorzelnik said. “We need to help Patrick financially to get a lawyer.”
Allocco is now representing himself in his attempt to leave the country and is attempting to negotiate with the public prosecutor. He posted on his Facebook page on Monday, Feb. 6, that his former attorney worked out an agreement for him to reimburse the remainder of the money owed to an Angolan promoter, but now the prosecutor is away for 10 days and American Embassy officials don’t seem to agree those were the terms.
Nas, whose failure to appear at the concert was the catalyst for the Alloccos' detainment, later cited transportation issues. Angolan promoter Henrique “Riquhino” Miguel asked for $315,000. He said Nas was paid $300,000 and the rest represents his overhead, according to posts on Allocco’s Facebook page.
Morris Township Deputy Mayor Bruce Sisler and Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen are trying to get the Alloccos out of the country, Gorzelnik said. He said Allocco speaks to Frelinghuysen daily. The two had met prior to this incident.
"Patrick is a very honest guy. He just hoped to make a little money with this concert," Gorzelnik said. "Tappers are very big in Africa. Then the guy didn’t show. And given the lack of laws over there it could be drawn out.”
Gorzelnik said money raised for Allocco would also go toward the mounting hotel bills. “It’s the only decent hotel in Angola,” he said.
The friends are sending a “care package” to the Alloccos who only planned on being in Africa a few days, he said.