One Guyana show: President Ali doubles local artistes’ earnings

…says Govt will continue to develop entertainment industry

President Dr Irfaan Ali as he addressed the artistes

President Dr Irfaan Ali has announced that all the local artistes who participated in the recent One Guyana concerts will have their payments doubled, with the State contributing $6.9 million to match the revenue generated. All of this, he said, is testimony to the Government’s commitment to the arts.
The announcement was made by the President during a meeting he had with a plethora of artistes at State House on Monday. He informed them that the One Guyana concerts, a feature of the recently concluded Cricket Carnival, generated $6.9 million in ticket sales.
All of this money will be split between the 89 local artistes who participated in the concert. However, the President announced that the Government will match this amount, doubling artistes’ pay… as a manifestation of the Government’s support for the musical artistes.

A section of the artistes

“Every single cent in revenues went to those artistes, ranging from between $100,000 and $300,000, as promised. I think that alone, deserves a resounding round of applause. But looking at ways we can further help you, I told the Minister of Tourism, the entire committee, that I want to double what you get. So, you will get, again, between $100,000 and $300,000.”
“We are here to support you. We will defend you; we will stand up for you. We will promote you. Our talent may be raw and fresh in many ways, but we never and will never lack the capacity and capability to make it on any stage. I intend to invest in the talent that we have to make it regional and global.
The President also took a swipe at the naysayers, urging the artistes to be a part of the solution. He recalled the dire state he found the creative industry in when he came to office and the steps they took to engage with the creatives.
“We have to become bold enough to tell those who continuously want to keep Guyana back, that we are all for One Guyana. I am asking you all to embrace the vision of a One Guyana united in purpose, strategy and people so that we can achieve the best,” President Ali said.
“When we came to office I received many messages from artistes in Guyana, all over, telling me about the horrible time they had over five years. Not being recognised or getting opportunities. And we sought every single artiste, to bring everyone under the One Guyana umbrella. To work with you, create avenues through which your talent can be developed and we can improve your skills and expand your reach.”
Meanwhile, the artistes were appreciative of the announcement and expressed hope that the President would continue to support the arts in this vein. Michelle “Big Red” King, Young Bill Rogers and Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, three of the biggest names in Guyana’s music scene, welcomed the initiative.
“I want to say thank you for the President, for making this initiative. For supporting us in such a big way. And I hope going forward, we can see so much more coming out from the Government. Supporting the artistes, so we can earn more, do our music and our videos,” King said, also referencing the importance of Copyright laws.
“I think it’s a great initiative that the President put forward, in terms of having the legends One Guyana Show and I think it was an awesome event… I want to thank all the organisers, the President, in terms of even doubling the fees for the performance… I think that is a great, great initiative by the President,” Young Bill Rogers said.
“I like the fact that the President is highly supportive of Guyanese artistes and the creatives and what we’re doing. And I know this cheque will help improve the lives of artistes,” Roberts, meanwhile, said, adding that she’s looking forward to seeing the rest of the Government’s policies to improve the music industry. (G3)