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Thousands lost on reggae show

Yvette Best

Thousands lost on reggae show

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That’s what FAS Entertainment, promoters of Reggae On The Hill, expect to lose by the time they reconcile additional costs associated with the postponement of last Sunday’s show at Farley Hill to Monday.
Speaking to the media at Farley Hill on Monday, FAS’ Al Gilkes said it cost them US$25 000 to keep Wyclef Jean and his contingent here for an additional day.
FAS also had to change or rebook airline tickets for all the other artistes and their parties, meals, per diems, hotel, ground transportation and other related costs.
In the case of Gyptian, FAS had to pay for a chartered flight to get him from Antigua to St Maarten for a performance Monday night.
“All this adds up to thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars,” Gilkes said. “Right now, we have not had time to even make a list of all the additional expenses we had, far less to tabulate the cost of it.” He said FAS took a “massive risk” of having the show at Farley Hill Monday.
Gilkes had projected 15 to 20 per cent fewer patrons after the show was rescheduled from Sunday. Police estimated the crowd at 8 000.
“The satisfaction comes from the fact that we were able to put on a show featuring all the artistes that we advertised and that people wanted and despite the rain people have come out and they have enjoyed themselves,” Gilkes said. “That is my satisfaction out of it . . . we have delivered.”
FAS was not the only entity counting losses, however. Some food vendors complained of having to throw out the fare they had prepared for Sunday and start over in time for Monday.
“In addition to all the foods we usually do, we were going to put on something called A Taste of Bajan. We prepare all that food, prep it to bring it here, and we had to dump it because everyone in this stall is HACCP-trained (hazard awareness critical control point) and we know the dangers food can cause and so we dump it and had to start fresh again. Right now, we can say that we are more than $1 400, $1 500 down,” said one vendor, who was at all seven editions of Reggae On The Hill.
Gilkes acknowledged the inconvenience to the vendors, and said FAS was prepared to compensate them.
“There is no alternative. We accept it, and then try to recoup it from other sources… .They paid us to vend here and through no fault of their own, they were deprived of the ability [because] we were unable to satisfy the contract we had with them in terms of allocating them a space to vend,” he said.
FAS sought a legal opinion Sunday after the Department of Emergency Management allegedly cancelled the show without their knowledge or communication with them.
They have also set up two hotlines at 823-5583 and 823-5589 for people who had any fallout from the postponement to discuss their concerns and see how FAS could make “amends in one form or another”.