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Music body warns promoters

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Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) has warned promoters in the country to respect their audiences and not take them for granted.

Mum said this in a statement following increasing concerns of incidents of organisers failing to satisfy their audiences.

The music body’s president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango said they have noted with great concern the increasing incidents involving foreign artists which have either failed to take place after people had already purchased tickets or in some cases where the shows did take place but have not lived up to the expectations of the public.

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Mhango said this was not healthy and that it was tantamount to deceit or trickery.

He said that in most of these cases, the shows have been organised without the knowledge or involvement of Mum which is a registered body recognised by the government of Malawi and that it has the mandate to regulate affairs relating to music in the country.

“As Mum, we also have a duty to safeguard the interests of musicians and the public at large. We would therefore like to call upon all organisers of international shows hence forth to ensure that they follow the proper channels in arranging international shows,” he said.

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He added that the organisers need to make notifications to the proper regulatory bodies – Mum and Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).

“Many of the promoters have been bringing foreign artists without our knowledge. Much as we welcome this for the good of the country, the organisers or promoters are supposed to pay all requisite fees and contributions from proceeds from such shows as required by law,” said Mhango.

He further urged organisers of shows involving international acts to ensure that their adverts and promotional materials contain relevant and accurate information about the performances.

“Many promoters have been misleading people especially on the information they relay to the public. This basically is to avoid misleading the public into purchasing tickets for shows which in reality are different from the adverts,” he said.

The country has this year experienced concerts of several foreign musicians and while some have done well satisfying the masses others have completely disappointed.

Mhango cited the recent failure of US group Dru Hill which was expected to perform on December 12 at Umodzi Outdoor Square in Lilongwe courtesy of Umodzi Park.

Umodzi Park however, cancelled the concert at the eleventh hour announcing through a press statement that there were disagreements between the promoter Tigere Media and Dru Hill.

Tigere Media recently also released a press statement saying they were not to blame for the cancellation of the show but rather Umodzi Park.

It is not yet clear as to who was at fault between Tigere Media whose director was arrested and Umodzi Park.

Sources however, say that Dru Hill failed to show up after Tigere Media failed to pay the US group their performance fees in one of the shows and that they were promised that they would be paid before the Malawi concert.

Mhango also said that the Jamaican group Morgan Heritage concert is another example of wrong information communicated to the public.

Three members of Morgan Heritage Gramps, Peter and Mr Mojo made it to Malawi and performed using backtracks disappointing the audience which had longed for a live performance.

The promoter Born Afrikan Productions also used posters which showed that the whole band would make it for the concert.

But the Jamaican group which has promised that they would come back in 2016 with a full band and perform live said they had indicated earlier during a press conference that they would perform using backtracks.

Mhango said they would mount arduous efforts to ensure that the laws of Malawi and regulations are complied within the organisation of international shows.

“We will join hands with members of the public to bring to justice (including criminal prosecutions) of any unscrupulous people masquerading as show organisers with the sole aim of cheating the public,” said the Mum president.

He also advised members of the public to bring to their attention any complaints that they may have relating to such international shows or any issues relating to musical shows in general through their secretariat.

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