Crisis meeting over VGMA

Reports reaching NEWS-ONE indicate that Charter House, organizers of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), will tomorrow Tuesday hold a crisis meeting with the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) in an attempt to settle a disagreement the two parties are having over the awards ceremony.

Though spokespersons of Charter House are hopping from one radio station to another denying that the disagreement with MUSIGA was so tense that the musicians union had threatened to publicly dissociate itself from the VGMA and call on its members to completely boycott the event, the company is reported to be meeting with industry heavyweights to mount pressure on MUSIGA to back down on its demands.

At a meeting between the two groups last Thursday, no compromise was reached as talks ended in another deadlock, and tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23 was agreed as the next meeting date.

MUSIGA has explained that it considered as unacceptable the current arrangement by Charter House where a musician who picks one award receives an amount of GH¢3000 while a musician who picks three, five or ten awards also receives the same amount.

The union is therefore requesting a written and signed bond with Charter House, agreeing that any MUSIGA member who picks a VGMA award would be given a plaque and monetary package per the number of awards picked.

If this demand goes through, it would mean that a musician who picks one award would get GH¢3000; a musician who picks two awards would get GH¢6000; and a musician who picks three awards would get GH¢9000. Therefore, the number of awards picked by a musician would determine the amount of the monetary package.

The union is also demanding that the monetary package per award should be increased from GH¢3000 to GH¢5000 and that no Ghanaian musician who performs on the night should be given an amount below GH¢10,000 as performance fee.

Reports say Charter House will Tuesday morning present an official response to the MUSIGA request.

Sources from Charter House have however hinted NEWS-ONE that the company is not ready to yield to any of the requests from MUSIGA and that the Tuesday response will be to ask the musicians union to ‘go to hell’.

Charter House, for the past 14 years, has organized the Ghana Music Awards in partnership with MUSIGA and after each event remitted some money to the union for the welfare of its members.

The amount forwarded to MUSIGA is however determined by Charter House and the quantum has varied over the years. As part of the MUSICA demands, the union is requesting that the contractual agreement should clearly explain the exact percentage of the sponsorship package Charter House should remit to the union, as well as the precise role the union will play to make the event a success.

Though not officially confirmed, Vodafone, the title sponsor of the awards, is said to have given Charter House an amount of $1million for the 2013 edition and MUSIGA is requesting from this figure, a proposed amount of GH¢250,000 for its welfare department.

The union insists that even if the money cannot be paid this year, Charter House should at least enter into an agreement that formalizes the terms of the partnership between the two.

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