This time, Forbes magazine’s top-earning celebrity is causing an uproar within the Caribbean region due to her upcoming concert on Feb. 18 at the Trinidadian carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.
Being the proactive artist that she is, the ‘Single Ladies’ singer also has a show scheduled in Port-of-Spain on the same day as the carnival, which is sponsored by local and government owned phone company TSTT. The company is also co-owned by global telecoms giant Cable & Wireless.
Although the average price range for carnival show tickets range from $71 to $253, local show organizers are apprehensive that the event will put a hole in the pockets of “all carnival stakeholders” between the country’s two cell phone providers and wash out Soca music in support of pop music.
“We have nothing against Beyonce,” says the former chief of the Caribbean Prestige Foundation Gregory Fernandes. “We are just saying that it is insensitive to bring her at this time. It will affect all carnival stakeholders.” According to BBC News, a dissatisfied reader lashed out in a column for the Trinidad & Tobago Express, expressing the mobile giant’s decision to promote pop superstars as opposed to local talent.
“Our culture of carnival is on the way out,” the reader proclaimed. “What used to be the greatest show on earth is playing second fiddle to another people’s culture.”
However, rival mobile phone provider Digicel has decided to go against TSTT’s grain and support local talent instead of notable international stars such as the 10-time Grammy Award winner.
In speaking with Trinidad Guardian newspaper, Digicel’s communications manager, Penny Gomez, revealed that his company was originally asked to fork over $1 million for Beyonce’s appearance fee, not to mention the additional cost of the concert’s production, which could’ve amounted up to $5.2 million.
“We have an appreciation for what is local, so we have not sought to go overseas,” she declared, noting that the company didn’t have “a limitless public purse from which to draw.”
A spokesperson for TSTT commented on Digicel’s claims stating that the company doesn’t have Digicel’s limitations of being unable to support international and local concerts, and their own plan to host the Beyonce show was solely based on a “sound business decision.” I think Beyonce will be fine either way but an extra 5mil cant hurt!