The Garifuna Collective has now received the needed funds to participate in WOMEX 2018. Al Ovando, the Collective’s Road Manager and bass player spoke on their experience trying to raise the funds.
Al Obando Road Manager Member of Garifuna Collective: “We kept form from the beginning, all what was happening we just look through that and we keep focus, every time they call us we keep it professional along the way, we never yet had a bad response from anybody just time, just overtime and we had to wait and wait and we get little frustrated because scheduling you know things have to get book whatever whatever but it happened and we always know that it was just a matter of time and just patience. We have reached the financial goal. Next Tuesday we are travelling to Guatemala City to obtain the Visas which is a task on its own, a whole amount of thing that so we good now, we good, everything we set to go. We have the commitment BTB, BTL, Office of the Music Ambassador, Greg Vernon through the gigs we did for him in terms of Costa Maya and the September Celebration Flag raising ceremonies and now NICH and it has been a struggle as we say. We always kept focus and now we hit the target.
Obando also spoke about the MOU signed amongst the Garifuna Collective, the Belize Music Agency and NICH. He detailed what it entails.
Al Obando Road Manager Member of Garifuna Collective: “This one with NICH entails, the MOU. It’s just like I said before, they are giving us the balance of the money that was needed to go to WOMEX which is for the Garifuna Collective is like $10,000 and $20,000 is for the showcase section of WOMEX which is the trade fair aspect, getting the booth, all the peripherals we need for the booth, getting the people in the booth to be there and everything else. So when we return the understanding we have and the good thing that was brought to us from NICH is that they don’t want to give us anything without knowing how we could benefit off of it or how other people could benefit off of it so they decided it’s only in the form of a MOU we can decide when you come back what you could do for we and we decided you know what for the longest the Garifuna Collective we have always been one into sharing experience with the other artist in Belize although we do it on our own you know but on a big scale confined to where we live or the people we meet and now this will be a more organized initiative where we come back and help and guide and this is how it work and this is how it work ,don’t believe this and this is how it work and let me tell you my story and that is basically what will happen when we come back.”
WOMEX has been described as the most international music meeting in the world and the biggest conference of the global music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and a showcase festival.