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Government denies financial involvement in Burna Boy concert

The upcoming concert featuring Grammy Award winning artist Burna Boy, is a wholly private affair and the Antigua and Barbuda government is in no way connected to it, financially or otherwise.

That’s the word of Minister of Creative Industries, Dr. Michael Browne, who said while the event has been endorsed by the ministry, the promoters are all private individuals.

The minister was responding to queries from Pointe Express in light of negative social media reactions over the unfounded claims that the government is financing the event that will be headlined by the African superstar.

Dr. Browne explained that the philosophy of the ministry is to establish Antigua and Barbuda as a centre for entertainment in the OECS and beyond and having such events take place here only add to that goal.

 “This is a show that is fully funded by private entities. From the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation we welcome this as the country is at a point where we are transforming ourselves as the entertainment capital in the OECS so we welcome this initiative from the private entity in staging this show. My ministry has approved the show as we have approved all similar events. The ministry has approved over 140 such events big and small this year. The only ones where the government had a financial liability were those events that took place as part of the Carnival programme, such as Drue Day,” he further explained.

The creative industries minister noted that the events that are approved by the ministry also receive its endorsement and that this event, slated for December 17 has also been endorsed by the ministry. He added that his ministry provides logistical support such as permits, approvals and similar assistance.

“I understand that there has been a firestorm on Facebook about the matter, but it is ironic that I have received numerous phone calls from abroad of people asking about hotels and AirBnB accommodation.

“In order to generate a greater amount of activity as the entertainment capital of the region, we definitely have to have more of these events. I encourage more private persons, more private entities to put on similar or even bigger events. These are things we need to keep the economy going.

“We have to understand that around an event like this generates a substantial portion of economic activity and it is these types of activities that keep the orange economy going. So, I endorse and support the initiative and I hope that all these initiatives that my ministry approves will be a success.

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