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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Public space and sports collide

IndigeNOW Belize, a world indigenous music festival organized by the National Institute of Culture and History, is scheduled for next weekend at the MCC Grounds. The event promises a who's who of local and international artists, as well as dance performances and arts and craft. But while planners have meticulously organized the showcase, the Football Federation of Belize has expressed its displeasure with the National Sports Council for granting approval to NICH to use the football field. In a press release issued this afternoon, FFB president Ruperto Vicente noted that the concert will lead to damage of the playing pitch, subsequently risking the safety of athletes who will also use the facility that weekend. While the MCC Grounds is managed by the Sports Council, Vicente told News Five that the sporting complex, the only official football field in Belize City, is in the process of being adopted by the FFB.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Footballers to Concert Promoters: MCC "Da Fu We!"

The MCC Grounds on Barrack Road is the premier football facility in Belize City; it is also one of the largest venues for public events, but the Football Federation of Belize is not happy that the pitch is being used for anything other than football.

Yesterday, they sent out a press release to voice their displeasure that the Director of Sports granted NICH approval to use it for a cultural festival, which is scheduled for October 12 -14.

Today, at their press conference to announce the new national team head coach we had an opportunity to ask the FFB president why they are so opposed to using a public facility for a public event.

Here's what he told us:

Ruperto Vicente - President, Football Federation of Belize
"I must make it clear that we're not against any cultural fair. But we are against the use of the MCC Grounds for such activities. The reason being is that if you had visited the grounds after the King and Queen Carnival, vehicles were driven on the pitch, and the surface of the pitch was seriously damaged. That endangers our players when they are playing games. As well, I understand that once that activity is being held at the MCC Grounds, it means that the facility is going to be shut off for that weekend from all football activities. Right now, we have young children playing football at the MCC Grounds, from ages 6 through 13 years-old. And we also have the Women's League who is also using the MCC Grounds. We have the inter-district tournament as well, and we have the semi-pro league. Certainly, that's a lot of activities going on for young people at the MCC Grounds, and so would want to preserve the surface of the grounds for our young players, and we would also want to have it open for football activities. Shutting it off for that weekend means shutting it off for a whole bunch of young people, and that's the reason for our disapproval."

And NICH listened.

This evening, NICH personnel held an emergency meeting in which they decided that the venue for that cultural festival will be changed.

We confirmed with the NICH Communications Officer, Shari Williams, who told us that a press release is forthcoming, but the new venue location has not been approved as yet.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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InidgiNOWBelize Concert To Change Venue

We turn now to choosing a new venue for the first ever World Indigenous Music Festival.

For about a week and a half now, the National Institute of Culture and History has been promoting the first ever "InidgiNOWBelize" Concert which is the World Indiginous Music Festival scheduled to take place from the 12th to the 14th of October at the MCC Grounds. Cultural musicians from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Belize are all scheduled to take the stage showcasing their music.

But, in another bit of news coming out from the BFF, they have officially written NICH and the Director of Sports expressing their disapproval to the use of the MCC grounds as venue to the event. BFF President Ruperto Vicente stated that the pitch will be subject to severe damage due to the driving of vehicles on it. Vicente stated that after the King and Queen Carnival presentations, the pitch was embedded with deep ruts caused by vehicle tires. Vicente also stated that the field is used every weekend by women, youth and children participating in scheduled tournaments and games.

As a result of BFF's concerns, NICH issued a press release today stating that the venue for the World Indigenous Music Festival will be changed. The release states and we quote, "The change is outside the control of NICH and its partners since approval for the use of the grounds had been granted well in advance of the Festival. It is unfortunate that the decision to not allow the use of MCC was made nearly on the eve of the Festival. Nevertheless, the Festival will continue and an alternative venue is being sought. The new venue will be announced shortly." End of quote.

The focus of the Festival is to showcase Belize as the go to country for tourists who wish to experience Indigenous cultures and their authentic and diverse music. Along with the musicians who were set to take the stage, artisans, dance performers and indigenous groups are expected to showcase their work and talents at the IndigiNOWBelize Festival. Scheduled to highlight the festival are Orange Walk's very own Lucio and the New Generation along with Los Pastele's Verdes from Peru.

NICH continues the search for a new location and as soon as that is set, we will bring to you any new information.


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