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Nov 13, 2018

Battle over Battle of the Drums Venue in PG

The annual Battle of the Drums Competition, aside from Garifuna Settlement Day, is one of the most anticipated events on the November calendar.  Every year, hundreds of spectators travel down to Punta Gorda to attend the cultural extravaganza and this Saturday is no different, except that the organizers would have had to pay the National Sports Council an additional ten percent on the gate.  But the Battle of the Drums is free of cost and all proceeds go towards various initiatives that aid in the development of the Garifuna culture.  So when that extra fee was levied on the secretariat, it caused an uproar.  This morning, Darius Avila informed News Five that the difference in rates was the equivalent of price discrimination.  Here’s how he described what the Sports Council was attempting to do.

 

On the Phone: Darius Avila, Battle of the Drums Secretariat

“So it has been confirmed to me by the director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Ian Jones that the charge for the use of the sporting complex is as follows: one thousand dollars refundable deposit.  The deposit will be refunded in full if there are no claims of damages to the building, plus five hundred dollars per daily use of the building, plus ten percent of sales.  He further stated that the renter of the premises will need to remove all garbage from the facility and return the facility in the same state as was received., meaning then that the renter would need to meet the cost of cleaning the facility.  We had no issue in terms of paying a rental fee for the use of the facility because clearly a fee needs to be charged.  However, we do have an issue as it relates to charging a percentage of sales as part of the fee structure because my question to the director was, so we, the Battle of the Drums is a not for profit entity and all of its income generating activities are primarily for investment into its not for profit cultural activities.  And so, if we were to be charged ten percent of sales as part of the fee structure, how then would you charge a similar entity which are not charging at the door but whose level of activity would be similar to ours.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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