Seabelo Modibe says artists could benefit from enforcement of 100% local music airplay on radio stations
This is the time of year when the entertainment space becomes a beehive of activity in preparation for major gigs leading up to the Easter holidays. Promoters and event organisers should be organising several concerts and commissioning artists to perform at corporate events and brand activations.
But lo and behold, it is three months since the advent of COVID-19, and all such plans have been put aside by suspensions, postponements and out-and-out cancellations, rendering a whole industry inoperable; the people in it out of work. The entire ecosystem of live events and the music recording industry has collapsed, according to promoter and businessman, Seabelo Modibe.
I think when we come out of this COVID-19 phase we will have learnt a few lessons about how to stay afloat in our business. But despite this trying time, we will come out stronger
Perhaps this is good reminder that industry players should have diversified income streams. “Look, the entertainment and live events industry is going to be the biggest loser in all this because you need to use your mouth and hands to make money,” he told TimeOut in an interview. “As we speak, use of these two has been restricted.”
To remedy the situation, Modibe is calling for a dialogue between the government and the industry with interventions as the sole goal. He suggests enforcement of 100% local music airplay on radio stations for the next two years as an agenda item for the confabulation. With the government owning around 70% of venues around the country in the halls and stadiums, another consideration could be making the facilities available to artists at a nominal fee.
“Government must boldly cancel all events until maybe June or July,” Modibe says. “It does not make sense for the private sector to be fighting the coronavirus alone by stopping events while the party goes on at Government Enclave. The government could take funds budgeted for all cancelled events, international travel and blank tape levies to MYSC for funding artists and promoters, as well as facilitating establishment of the National Arts Council.” said the industry was under attack and
For music artist Lorraine Ditsebe, people are resorting to online platforms at this time of quarantine. “Everyone is constantly checking news updates, which gives our products online a chance to be viewed for entertainment,” she says. “I think when we come out of this COVID-19 phase we will have learnt a few lessons about how to stay afloat in our business. But despite this trying time, we will come out stronger, wiser and with a greater understanding of the importance of preparation.”