ASKING “LOUD” QUESTIONS – Both Patrons & Opposition want to know…
Before we get into the various Bones of Contention, let’s just say everyone including the old white dude who get a lapdance, got their money’s worth from Ri-Ri via performance but it seems where everything fell down was either catering or how the deal to have Ri-Ri perform here is under severe scrutiny…
Here’s what one patron went on Facebook to not just rant, but exactly how she felt on the event as a whole;-
“First of all let me say RiRi you gave an absolutely awesome peformance, it was well worth EVERY penny of my money spent and you really gave BIM a concert they would never forget. You did us proud, hopefully it would shut up all the haters. Now having said that, WTF!!!! Barbados Tourism Authority is a waste of my tax paying money if that is the level of service that will be provided to VVIP patrons at events held. Clearly they are incapable of planning an event of this magnitude. The lounge was uncomfortably full i.e a larger space should have been provided for the amount of VVIP patrons there. I was all hot and bothered before the damn show even start. Not only was if difficult to get a drink from the bar but u also ran out of champangne in a VVIP lounge. Now that was a small issue but given how my night went it all adds up. Also it was near impossible to get food! I don’t know anyone else who ate more than one SINGLE finger food. Makes me wonder who was eating all the food. I felt like I was begging! Then when it thought it could not get any worse after RiRi restored my happy disposition with such an incredible perfomance you proved me wrong, I could not even get a bottle of water from the bar because the bars was shut off. Now why, after people was partying and having a good time would you shut off the bar? And why I thought the night would get better is beyond me. And that was not all, oh no the night gets even better! We were told by management organizing the shuttles that we had to go on the main road to meet the coach because he had problems getting back into the car park. Ok not a problem, but then when we meet the coach and the driver would not stop so we then had to walk behind the bus back to the car park (some of us in HEELS!!) and THEN the bus driver would not even open the door even tho he was informed that his manager told us to go meet him. It is only through the persistent pounding on the door by some quite angry visitors, yes visitors to the island not even us locals, did he finally relent and open the door. Now BTA I know I am not the only one feeling this way because I met quite a few patrons that felt the same way. However I am the one that will air my displeasure. And the amazing thing is any person who knows me well will tell you I am one of the most accommodating and non-confrontational persons you will ever meet. So you can understand how upset I must be. WTR you think I pay $500 for ?! And where is the “added extra benefits” I am still waiting. RiRi was epic, BTA was just an epic failure.”
There were still more objections on Facebook similar to Rachel Price’s concerns… People still want to know who is Cariblantic Productions, what is the connection to this coordinator of “LOUD” in relation to Andy John, Joel “Signal” Morris and/or Noise Productions? Some Bajans feel there is a link… Were there any similarities to the Beyonce concert in Trinidad? The same event which left a bitter taste in Rachel Price‘s mouth to the point where she did a viral video of a rant on the situation in Facebook which even VOB’s Market Vendor commented on? Did the production details even go to tender since Rihanna’s arrangement with the Tourism Ministry could be viewed as a Government contract which therefore should be listed publicly and may the best man or woman win?
These are not the only questions being asked right now, here’s another view going forward;-
Asking LOUD Questions
BLP Legacy: Implementation of massive housing projects including Ferniehurst, Rosemont, Wotton, Haynesville, Kensington Lodge and Oxnards; and a rural electrification programme that installed electricity island-wide.
The BLP congratulates RIHANNA on a spectacular performance which should have fully demonstrated to thousands at Kensington Oval and by extension all of Barbados, why she is so phenomenonally popular around the globe. From all reports the Bajan superstar could not be faulted for her on-stage performance that wowed Barbadians and justifiably excited a strong sense of national pride.
THE CHAOS AT KENSINGTON
Regrettably, unqualified praise cannot go to the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) which, as promoter of the LOUD concert, must bear ultimate responsibility for the numerous foul-ups and blunders that reportedly plagued patrons including those paying top dollars, and which have become the subject of much bitter and critical discussion. Hopefully, it will teach the BTA and its agents that the true excellence of an event is determined not only by what happens on stage but by everything that makes up the total experience.
THE DLP PALLIATIVE
So now that the intense publicity hype has ended and the BTA-DLP hoped for feel-good factor has evaporated from among patrons more rapidly than had been anticipated, people are no longer distracted by the partying of both Crop-Over and the LOUD extravaganza and have therefore begun to ask direct questions about the concert as the harsh economic and other realities of everyday life once more become their major focus.
THE SECRET DEAL
For example, people want to know why the BTA is being allowed to exercise such great secrecy over details of the BTA’s contract with Rihanna’s management team through a reported “confidentiality agreement” that has hitherto not known to have been allowed between the Barbados government or its agent. What could there be to hide from the taxpayers who pay the BTA’s bills ?
THE MULTI-MILLION PRICE TAG
In addition, while Tourism Minister Richard Sealy has said that government was “spending in excess of $4 million in the production” of the concert, hard-pressed taxpayers are asking what exactly was meant by “in excess“, especially when it is being said that the “true” cost of the concert is being estimated at $10-12 million. When will Sealy give the public a full report and will he say whether or not concert funding was approved by Cabinet before a contract was signed?
Another question being posed is why has no mention been so far made of “costs” other than “production” , including “operational costs” that are standard, and what are the exact details of what is meant by Rihanna being said to have performed for “free“, as laid out in the still secret three-year contract with the BTA.
THE MYSTERY COMPANY
Also, what is the nature of the organisation “Cariblantic“? When was it formed? Who are its principals? Is Cranston Browne still an employee in the Prime Minister’s Office and if so, by what means has he become “Public Relations Officer” of Cariblantic as was stated in the press of August 5 and so far not corrected. We urgently need to know.
BETTER MUST BE DONE!