ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda, June 25, 2018 (CMC) – The government of Antigua and Barbuda says its Festivals Commission has denied, what it describes as, “a false and malicious story, captioned ‘Over half a million dollars for Machel Montano at Melting Pot.’”
On Saturday, the government said of the “false claims”, published by the Antigua Newsroom (ANR) outlet, are based, on what the publication 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 statement noted.
“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,” it added.
“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 government continued. “The breakdown in costs, listed in the false Antigua Newsroom article, are totally inaccurate.”
The statement pointed to “major inaccuracies” in the report, stating that “Machel Montano and his group will fly from Barbados to Antigua via LIAT (our main sponsor of the event) free of cost. They will not fly from the USA, as the false article states.”
The statement also said that Machel Montano’s group does not consist of 28 persons, that Machel Montano’s cost to perform is “not $324, 000 as stated in the false article,” and that the Commission has received sponsorship for the group’s accommodation.
“The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission is saddened by the actions of Antigua Newsroom in publishing this article without ascertaining the facts,” the Antigua and Barbuda government statement said. “Its publication is obviously one of malicious intent.”
The statement said that the Commission “promises an entertaining LIAT Caribbean Melting Pot, on Thursday, August 2, as we celebrate the superb artistry of our finest local and regional artistes.