The Ministry of Culture, and the Festival and Fairs Committee are not making any promise that local artistes would be paid on time or that the extended wait of previous years will not be repeated. However both Minister for Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn and Chairman of the Festival and Fairs Committee, Trefor Grant are guaranteeing that the artistes will be paid.
In response to questions from the media about the issue of on-time payment for artistes Minister Walwyn told reporters during the press conference on 4th July: "I am not sure what you call on time. We guarantee that we would give them and I know that they can stand by the guarantee that they would be paid. I can’t make any promises, but I do know that the practice over the last years at least since I’ve been minister the money comes close to December for the excess persons.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Festival and Fairs Committee told reporters that he explained to the bands that they will receive their final payment late: "I think we have been very open and honest with the bands and we let them know that this year is going to be no different to last year as it relates to final payments."
It was also mentioned that the Festival and Fairs Committee will be giving the local artistes half of their payment upfront. In fact Mr. Grant said, "If they (artistes) don't get the 50 percent, they get it all by December. That's what the situation is and we are really open and honest about that."
The Chairman also noted that the situation has not deterred interest from local artistes, "Actually we have had more interest from the local bands," Grant said.
In the latter part of 2015 local musicians began to complain that they did not receive payment for their performance during the 2015 Emancipation Festival. The matter was dragged into 2016 at which time it began to get media attention. The musicians were very vocal and many took to Facebook to vent on the situation.
However, it was not until May last year that it was announced that all outstanding monies owed for Festival 2015 were finally paid. The disclosure was not during a press conference on 3rd May, 2016 by Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith: “I will be able to confirm that the monies that vendors have been waiting for are all taken cared of so they are not owed any money.”
- Source: BVIHotpress.com