Categorized | National News

CMF Organizers On Defensive

Although the Caribbean Muzik Festival was abruptly cancelled last year, organizers of the festival went on the defensive last night as officials insisted that the $650,000 given to the company was spent on promotions and hosting of the event.

Attorney for Caribbean Muzik Festival (2000) Obafemi Pindling said that monies received from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism were deposited to the company’s bank account in Nassau where company directors Michael Tomlinson, Desmond Edwards and Alfred Sears were joint signatories.

“Every penny spent from that account was spent on and towards the promotion and hosting of the Caribbean Muzik Festival scheduled for October 28th to October 31st, 2015. This expenditure included but is not limited to advertising and marketing, payment of performance deposits to participating other administrative and operational expenses, deposits for local accommodation for foreign artists, ground transportation, deposit for staging lighting and production and the bank’s transactional fees associated therewith,” he said in a statement.

“Every penny spent is well documented and can very easily be accounted for and verified. Most importantly, no event tickets or packages were marketed and sold locally and internationally.”

Mr. Pindling added that the full particulars of the relationship between organizers and the Ministry of Tourism are clearly spelled out in a Host Country Production and Promotional Agreement executed on December 15th, 2014.

The attorney said it is “with deep regret” that the internal affairs of the company and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism have “contentiously” found its way in the public domain.

“Despite numerous public statements by the Minister of Tourism about the Caribbean Muzik Festival, my client made a conscious decision not to publicly reply, but instead to reply privately to the Minister and the officials at his ministry. The primary reason for this was because despite public perception, my client and the Ministry of Tourism were strategic partners in this venture,” he said.

Last week, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe sought to point the blame at Mr. Sears as to why the festival did not happen.

Mr. Sears then shot back at Mr. Wilchcombe.

“The fact of the matter is that there is a commercial dispute between the Ministry of Tourism and the company, Caribbean Music Festival (2000) Limited, relating to the postponement of a portion, two of three nights, of the 2015 Caribbean Muzik Festival and about the fulfilment of duties by both parties, pursuant to the commercial contract between these two parties to stage a series of festivals over the course of five years,” Mr. Sears said in a statement.

Mr. Sears resigned as director last December.

The company says it still intends to fulfill its obligations.

“The company, mindful of the high level of professionalism in The Bahamas has come to expect from it, intends to, not only fulfill the ‘stated terms’ but the spirit of the aforementioned Host Country Agreement, which includes the implied terms and consideration of the purpose of the said agreement,” officials said.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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