In a letter issued on 19th January 2023, troubled local events promoter Abbey Musinguzi a.k.a Abtex advises his fellow promoters to ditch events promotion and look for other reliable sources of income.

In the letter addressed to all established promoters and aspiring promoters in Uganda, Abtex who recently was in jail over the Freedom City stampede notes that the events business is now operating in losses.

“Those of you who still think this is a secure business and you want to invest in it you will reap losses,” Abtex writes.

He notes that the business was only profitable fifteen years ago because just a few artists could fill up stadiums from which lots of money would be collected but nowadays you need a big lineup of performers to attract crowds.

Abtex also points out how artists have degraded themselves by making appearances everywhere in bars and hence becoming so ordinary for a fan to pay money to watch them perform at a concert.

“Today there has been a loss of value and degradation of the industry because artists perform in bars and parties for free, and showcase themselves in clubs therefore there is no hype as there used to be with musicians such as Paul Kafeero and Lord Fred Sebata,” Abtex states.

Abtex further expresses his disappointment in artists who “ask for exorbitant prices they are not worth” as another problem that has befallen the events organizing business.

He now wants to start booking foreign artists because he believes they have much more value because fans know they will not see them again and hence will be drawn to pay and watch them perform at the concerts.

“I will be an example by bringing musicians from abroad because of the hype and scarcity of appearances they command. Forcing fans to come from wherever to see them, knowing they won’t see them again in a while. My focus will be Nigeria and Tanzania.”

Read Abtex’s Full Letter Below:


                              RE: URGENCY IN FINDING OTHER RELIABLE SOURCES OF INCOME
        
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fellow promoters I’m Abbey Musinguzi of Abtex promotions. I write this letter with the goal of sharing with you a very important issue and I ask that you share this message with all other music promoters. You have always seen me and admired me because of the events I have organized and the fame I have gotten over 24 years of being the biggest music promoter in Uganda. But the sad truth is that it hasn’t been an easy road because as soon as that money is made it is spent and exhausted on artists as well as venue owners, PA systems, publicity and now police which was free before is now costly to get permission and now URA is here as well seeking 18% from gate collection.
 
It is time for us now as music promoters to find other businesses other than being a promoter if you don’t have any other businesses. Those of you who still think this is a secure business and you want to invest in it you will reap losses. Unless you just want to be known and famous there is no other benefit depending on the current situation, unless artists, venue owners, PA system providers, police and URA cut their cost by 50%. If not, we have stopped organizing events for the crucial reasons I will share with you at Calendar hotel on 23rd Jan. The only way we can resume business is when the parties referred to above drop their prices by 50%.
 
We would like for artists to put themselves in our shoes and organize an event for themselves, pay themselves then maybe they can see the difficulty we pass through instead of disrespecting us and calling us demoters.
 
The only time this business was profitable was fifteen years ago when a promoter would create an event and have only two musicians such as Paul Kafeero, Lord Fred Sebatta who would fill a stadium at 5000 and the expense would be only 25million including payment of artists and everything else, getting an audience of 10,000 hence making 50million leaving a promoter with sizable profits of 25 million. Secondly artists were respectful and would stand by a promoter at his event and not double deal, like musicians today who perform at event now and perform at another 2km metres away. People would travel to Kampala to see a show because you were the only one organising it that day with those musicians, but today there has been loss of value and degradation of the industry because artists perform in bars and parties for free, show case themselves in clubs therefore there is no hype as there used to be with musicians such as Paul Kafeero and Lord Fred Sebata.
 
Today we have musicians who ask for exorbitant prices they are not worth and yet the prices for venues are exorbitant as well leaving a music promoter with losses.
I’ll give you an example, Balam’s festive season events 25th ,26th ,31st at Sheraton and Botanical Gardens on 1st, KT events organized Sheebah’s concert at Serena and Winnie Nwagi’s concert at Cricket Oval , Balunya Events with B2C at freedom city, David Lutalo at Africana, Fik Fameika at Africana, Enkuuka at the Palace, Bajjo at Museum on Christmas and 1st as well as Buloba Forest Park, Eddy Kenzo in Mukono, Mukaaya Events who organised on Christmas, 26th, 31st,1st and Spice Diana’s launch at Lugogo Cricket Oval to mention but a few and I as well organized an event at Freedom city and Aero Beach on the 31st and 1st but we did not make any profits aside from the tragic news that we lost some of our fans. Which is the only reason it was a famous show but not for the profits I made. It was only KT Events who made profits at Winnie Nwagi’s concert but these profits he made at the main show in Kampala at the cricket oval were spent at the extra events because the turn up was low.
 
Basing on the evidence above my best advice is, as music promoters we should stop organizing events immediately if we want to stay afloat financially.
I will be an example by bringing musicians from abroad because of the hype and scarcity of appearances they command. Forcing fans to come from wherever to see them, knowing they won’t see them again in a while. My focus will be Nigeria Tanzania.
 
With this communication, I conclude by wishing you well in your endeavors and inviting to our meeting at Calendar Hotel on 23rd January.
 
Yours Faithfully
Abbey Musinguzi
President National Promoters Association

The post Why Abtex has vowed to ditch local artists for international acts appeared first on MBU.

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