Promoters for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival are calling for the local sponsors of an upcoming Beyonce Knowles concert to reschedule the show - because the gig will siphon funds from the annual cultural celebrations. The R&B superstar is due to perform in the Caribbean country on February 18 - just two days after the massive two-day Carnival event wraps.
Several concerned performers, promoters and bandleaders have teamed up to urge Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago executive Roberto Peon to postpone the gig. Gregory Fernandes, who is spearheading the campaign, estimates it will cost TSTT up to $30 million to pay for the singer's performance - money he insists should be used for hosting the festival.
He tells the Trinidad & Tobago Express, "We want to discuss with TSTT the position they have taken to present Beyonce in concert so soon after Carnival and their decision to cut back and even pull sponsorship of Carnival events."
"They will need to prepare (Beyonce's) venue to accommodate the 25,000-plus audience, they need to break even and when you take into consideration what may be on Beyonce's rider, that can be an additional three quarter million or more."
"We have nothing against Beyonce. We are just saying that it is insensitive to bring her at this time. It will affect all Carnival stakeholders because, you know, it's not just a case of people forgoing fetes and shows to buy tickets."
"What about those who depend on Carnival to earn income? No patrons at events or no events mean that all service providers are out of a dollar. As a corporation of which 51 per cent is Government-owned, TSTT needs to provide answers to the cultural fraternity."
Beyonce Knowles' concert in Libya was also hit with controversy earlier this month. In response, her camp issued a statement, defending her. "The party in St. Bart's on New Year's Eve, with Beyonce in performance, was hosted by Muatsim-Billah Gaddafi, not his brother Moutassim Bilal 'Hannibal' Gaddafi, as reported in the press."
"Her agents and management firm made the decision to confirm the private performance. The annual party had a long history of booking internationally known artists both American and foreign for events around the world, including Cannes. Past performers in St. Bart's have included Timbaland, Enrique Iglesias and Mariah Carey. Guests at this year's party included singer Usher, former BET CEO Bob Johnson, actress Lindsay Lohan and music industry vets, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and L.A. Reid."