Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2023. 3:15 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Punta rocker Lensford “Supa G” Martinez has exposed instances of “disrespect” and alleged mistreatment of listed Belizean performers including himself during the recent Belize International Music and Food Festival.
Supa G, who spoke to Channel 7 News last Friday during an appearance on their morning program, has been performing for more than 25 years globally. He says that the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has much to learn about coordinating large festivals, especially when it comes to the treatment of local artists.
For instance, he cited something as simple as traversing through the back area where performers lodge: “…when Belizean artist get there, we usually go through the back area whenever we performed for private promoters. Now, we expect the same treatment going through the back entrance. We were told if you don’t have a pass you cant go through here, because this area is only for the international artists.”
Martinez further cited denial of air conditioned tents to change in as afforded to international artists and lack of portable restrooms for Belizean artists, sending them behind the marked restrooms for foreign artists.
While Supa G is not against the idea of the festival itself or the intentions behind it, he underlined that the festival should build up Belizean artists as a big deal and worthy of the same treatment as the internationals: “You have to have some international artists of course, but it should be to build Belizean artists. So, it should be more about showcasing Belizean artists. Having international there, yes, but teach people how to treat Belizean artists, because even with the advertisement, its more about the foreign artists than the Belizean artists. I think Belize needs to learn, BTB needs to learn. The intention is good, but the execution they need to work on that and I hope they don’t take this as an insult or any[thing] personal, but it’s just to work on it and make it better for next time, even if I will not be on the show, treat the Belizean artists right.”
An audit has been requested of the funds used to host the event at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex.
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