Less money and emphasis is being placed on the creative sector although it has been identified as an important element of the country’s diversification thrust, music industry analyst and concert promoter Nigel Campbell said yesterday. That was his assessment of the 2019 budget presented on Monday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
In an interview on CNC 3’s The Morning Brew, Campbell said: “Normally when you talk about something within the budget there’s a kind of priority for the Government and there has been decreasing lip service to the industry.
“He is using less and less words to describe the creative industry and it actually reached a low of 15 words two years ago but more importantly there he’s actually been allocating less money.”
Campbell said the creative sector had previously been given $6 million but this decreased to $4.25 million last year and in this year’s fiscal package it was reduced to $4 million.
“That kind of small money is not much you can really do anything with in a real world sense,” he said.
Campbell said since the 1990’s Government has been using the State enterprise model to do “some kind of energizing to make the sector global.” He said he’s not really a fan of that strategy.
“Whereas we might have gotten a couple bits here and there, in the actual grand movement,the upwards and outwards of our industry has not really happened.
“Some of that blame can fall on the stakeholders themselves—the actual artistes and creators—but the State’s function is supposed to be creating an enabling environment and I’m not necessarily sure that is being done and certainly with a $4 million budget I don’t think that can adequately be done,” he said.
Campbell said the Live Music District initiative, introduced in the 2018 budget, was not as successful as it should have been.
“It’s a good idea and I am not against that. The minister used the word success for the Live Music District and he said there were 300 performances but when they launched the district they promised 700 performances so just by the pure Mathematics it’s not necessarily a successful venture going forward,” he said.