The T&T Promoters’ Association (TTPA) has taken legal action to begin a process for standardising the staging of events. Legal letters have been sent out to all three copyright agencies to ensure there is one process in place when fetes and events are held.
This comes after years of promoters facing threats of having events shut down due to the absence of clear and defined processes.
“The environment in Trinidad is, without question, the worst, most difficult environment for any operator to work in,” TTPA spokeswoman Paige De Leon said at a press conference yesterday. She described the situation as “untenable.”
According to de Leon, there are no clear definitions for how many fire officials and police officers are required to be at events, or how much money should be paid to copyright management organisations (CMOs). She said this uncertainty is stifling promoters.
“There is no standard. The goalpost keeps shifting all the time. Every five minutes something’s different. We never know what we’re going to get. As you can appreciate, in any enterprise, if I can’t predict with some degree of certainty what my costs are going to be then it becomes almost impossible for me to make any kind of prediction on what to spend, how to spend the money, and then it causes a collapse in my internal financial environment,” she said.
For that reason, with the help of its legal team, the TTPA launched its standardisation drive by distributing legal letters to the various copyright management organisations yesterday.
“We’ve issued letters to all three CMOs in Trinidad, all the registered CMOs. That’s COTT (Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago), that’s the TTCO (Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation) and awesome to ask them to give specific information about how they interact with the event entertainment industry.”
If the process isn’t standardised, it would affect much more than just the promoters, De Leon said.
“To stifle the promoters who making money is to also stifle the soca artiste, it’s to stifle the creative artistic person who does the set, it’s to stifle the man who cooks the food, it’s to stifle the person who sews the costumes for the promo girls,” she said.
Events such as fetes and parties have an important social and economic function, she said.
The TTPA was formed in 2018 and while it does not represent all the promoters in the country, it speaks for over 100 of them.