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Music sector needs funds


YVETTE BEST

Music sector needs funds

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LACK OF financing continues to prevent Barbadians from seeing some of the top names in entertainment.
Even with contracts in hand for Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige, producers of the Barbados Music Awards (BMAs) have been forced to look elsewhere for talent for the January 8 event.
Houston, who comes with a seven-digit price tag, had been targeted for a concert at Kensington Oval, addressing a BMA workshop, presenting the Entertainer Of The Year Award and receiving the International Icon Award.
“I think that having [Houston] at the Barbados Music Awards, in particular, would have done a lot for the music industry in Barbados,” argued Ronnie Morris, of Timeless Entertainment, “because wherever she goes, all major international Press follows her. Especially if she is singing.
“And to have her in Barbados at the concert would have certainly boosted our tourism appeal, marketing wise.
“All those plans had to be shelved because the necessary financial backing did not materialise. Further, there has been no input from Invest Barbados, which is one of the agencies that provides funding for such ventures.
“The music industry is severely undercapitalised,” Morris charged. “When I speak of agriculture, when I speak of manufacturing, millions of dollars were thrown behind those industries, especially in their developing stages.
“We speak of the cultural industries being the next big thing . . . and funding is paltry at best. You cannot finance an industry with $20 000, or $100 000 or $500 000.
“If you are going to be financing an industry, you have to put in the hands of the people who do the groundwork the same millions you put in the hands of the people who develop tourism.
If they do not do that, the industry will not get anywhere.
“Even the NCF [National Cultural Foundation] is undercapitalised,” Morris said.

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