Sunday 27 September, 2020

Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission: Fake news on cost for Machel

The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission slammed what it said was fake news concerning the cost of having Machel Montano perform at LIAT's Caribbean Melting Pot event.

According to a statement posted to the Office of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda's Facebook page on June 24, the story, which was published by the Antigua Newsroom (ANR) outlet was 'false and malicious' and based on conjecture, not facts.

The article alleged that the cost of bringing in Montano and his team for the event would be around half a million dollars. 

The Commission said while it cannot while it cannot divulge the exact costs of hosting LIAT's Caribbean Melting Pot, the cost associated with hosting Montano is nowhere near half a million dollars. 

"The ANR false claims are based on what it says “reaching (reached) out to a local promoter to ascertain the possible costs associated with bringing a talent of Montano’s stature.” In other words, it is based on conjecture and not facts."

"The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission, while it cannot divulge the costs associated with the hosting of LIAT’s Caribbean Melting Pot due to contractual agreements with stakeholders, wishes to state categorically that the costs associated with Machel Montano performing at LIAT’s Caribbean Melting Pot are in no way costing the Commission half a million dollars."

"The Festivals Commission wishes to advise the general public that due to the increased commitment of our sponsors to the successful hosting of LIAT’s Caribbean Melting Pot, the cost obligations of the Commission for hosting the event have been reduced significantly."

"The breakdown in costs listed in the false Antigua Newsroom article are totally inaccurate, however we wish to point out the following major inaccuracies."

The Commission clarified that the cost for Montano's performance is not $324,000 and that the Commission has also received sponsorship for his accommodation.

The Commission said Montano and his group are flying in to Antigua from Barbados via LIAT, free of charge, and would not be flying in from the US, as stated in the article.

The Commission also clarified that Montano’s group does not consist of 28 persons

"The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission is saddened by the actions of Antigua Newsroom in publishing this article without ascertaining the facts. Its publication is obviously one of malicious intent. The Commission promises an entertaining LIAT Caribbean Melting Pot on Thursday, 2nd August as we celebrate the superb artistry of our finest local and regional artistes," the Commission said.

 LIAT Caribbean Melting Pot is set for Thursday, August 2, 2018, from 8:00 pm at Carnival City in Antigua. 

Antigua and Barbuda's carnival is usually held from the end of July to the first week in August. The 10-day festival features a festival of colourful costumes, beauty pageants, talent shows, and music.

The festivities, which celebrate emancipation, range from the Party Monarch and Calypso Monarch competitions of Calypsonians, the Panorama steel band competition, and the Parade of Bands to the Miss Antigua Pageant and the Caribbean Queen's Competition.


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