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#452445 - 12/01/12 07:55 AM Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,759
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
NICH today announced that the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve will be closed from December 12th to December 26th, 2012. A release from NICH says that quote, "the closure is to prepare for the launch of an International Musical Event."

We couldn't reach anyone to tell us what that event is - but we do know that there's been talk about an concert with international artists to coincide with the end of the Mayan Calendar on December 21st., 2012.

According to NICH, the internationally televised concert will raise funds for the conservation of Belize's cultural heritage and its archaeological parks.

Channel 7

#452685 - 12/04/12 08:26 AM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,759
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

XUNANTUNICH: The Concert Event

On Friday, we told you about the plan to close Xunantunich until after Christmas. This is so that a giant stage and amenities can be built in the main plaza to accommodate a major international concert. And we're not talking a few acts flown in from Kingston,

according to UNOFFICIAL reports, organizers are hoping to book major American rock stars such as Neil Young and Sarah Mclachlan

The concert will be held on December 21st. to coincide with the end of the Mayan Calendar and will be transmitted to a global audience. It will also be shown on big screen at four venues in Belize - and there are also plans to stream it on YOUTUBE.

But the two week closure from December 12th to 26th doesn't sit well with the villagers form the nearby Succotz. Many of them make a living off selling their wares in Succotz and say they haven't been consulted.

Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. JaIme Awe says he did hold a meeting in the village on Friday night - but only 20 villagers and no village leaders showed up.

He says the main purpose of the concert is to raise funds for Belize's Archaeological Parks - and the benefits will derive to the villagers, including the erection of a new craft center for the villagers.

Awe also noted that Tikal in Guatemala and Chichen Itza in Mexico are having their own December 21st concerts and those venues will also being closed for a few days to prepare.

Channel 7

#452776 - 12/05/12 09:02 AM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,759
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Controversy over closure of Xunantunich Maya Site

The natives of Succotz Village are restless because of the planned closure of the Xunantunich Maya Site until after the Christmas Holidays. The closure is being done to allow for a giant stage so amenities can be erected on the main plaza to accommodate a major international concert. The concert will be held on December 21st. and will coincide with the end of the Mayan Calendar. The plan is to transmit the concert to a global audience. It will also be televised on big screen at four different venues in Belize - and may also be streamed live on YOUTUBE. The two week closure, December 12 - 26, is not going over well with the villagers of Succotz. Many of them make their money peddling their wares to tourists visiting the site and see the move as a direct affront to their way of life; plus they say that the Institute of Archaeology did not consult them. Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of the Institute says he did meet with the villagers on Friday last - but not many people showed up. He says the main purpose of the concert is to raise funds for Belize's Archaeological Parks - and that villagers will benefit. Erection of a new craft center is also planned for the villagers. The talk is that organizers are hoping to book major Canadian performers. Awe also noted that Tikal in Guatemala and Chichen Itza in Mexico are having their own December 21st concerts and those venues too will be closed for a few days to prepare for the epoch event.


#452814 - 12/05/12 01:40 PM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,759
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
from a friend....

Here is the outfit that they pimped out Xunantunich to....

"Yup, we officially own a Mayan site for two weeks."

#452822 - 12/05/12 02:34 PM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,280
Barbara K Offline
Barbara K  Offline
So bizarre. And such late notice....

#452833 - 12/05/12 06:48 PM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
What's so surprising, since Dr. Awe is such a brilliant guy and NICH generally does a good job, is that the eyezzon outfit doesn't even have much of a website (just a home page and a contribution page) and has a facebook page with a whopping 49 Likes. This is not exactly Live Nation!

#452834 - 12/05/12 06:58 PM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
Another "Ministeral Disgresion"?

#452865 - 12/06/12 07:40 AM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,759
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
from a friend....

While I hope the Xunantunich event is a big success for all concerned and generates lots of income for the Archeology Institute and the village, I have some questions. It's less than 3 weeks out from the big day and no talent has been announced? By that I mean no confirmed, locked-down bookings. Hmmm........ If there is going to be large music festival on site, trucks (and trucks and trucks and trucks) of basic infrastructure equipment should already be arriving. Temporary staging, portable dressing rooms, catering facilities, generators, mountains of 4/0 and smalller electrical distribution cable, porta-johns, water tanks, medical facilities, etc. all have to be in place before lights, sound, video, and broadcast gear start to arrive, let alone the artists. This is a guess (but an educated one) but I can't imagine packaging the production equipment of even the most bare-bones version of a headliner music festival in any less that 6 to 8 tractor trailers, and 48' or 56' versions at that. They would never be able to cross on the ferry. Everything would have to be off-loaded to smaller vehicles to reach the site. Where is the stage crew to erect all this stuff? Trained, experienced stagehands are not available locally so they all have to come from somewhere else. They'd need hotel rooms. Have lots of nearby hotels had a spike in reservations? If this event is really happening, the folks in Succotz would not be able to miss the arrival of a bunch of strangers unloading and reloading big trucks at the ferry. If it isn't happening now, it should start happening very, very soon. Entertainment events are my business and while my career has been in production not promotion, you can't be in the business without becoming aware of the major players. Eyezzon Productions is no Live Nation or AEG. There are other smaller regional promoters who are successful, but they tend to work "close to home" where they know the vendors, the venues, and the audience. Hell, Eyezzon doesn't have a real website, just a bunch of Facebook pages. Doesn't inspire confidence, especially when there is no concrete information about the concert anywhere (at least anywhere I could find). There is no reason a major event couldn't happen at Xunantunich. It's potentially a great location. I just think more concrete, real work and information would be out by now.

#452880 - 12/06/12 08:35 AM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,759
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Xunantunich, the concert and the Succotz residents

In the west, emotions are running high among the tour guides and vendors in Succotz Village over the planned two-week closure of Xunantunich next Wednesday. The closure by NICH coincides with the height of the Mayan calendar celebrations and the residents say they were not consulted and it will cut into their Christmas earnings. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has both sides of the story.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The planned closure of the Xunantunich Archaeological Site in Succotz, Cayo is causing controversy among tour guides and vendors who operate at the site. It was recently announced that the site would be closed from December twelfth to the twenty-sixth to accommodate the International Music Festival. But the tour guides and vendors say they will be losing major business, especially with the end of the Mayan Calendar on December twenty-first; a loss they cannot afford in the Christmas season.

Alberto Panti

Alberto Panti, Acting President, Cayo West Tour Guide Association

“Can you imagine, all these vendors here, each individual of us here we have kids that benefit from this. You can imagine all your kids are gonna ask for Christmas gifts, what are you going to give them? The place will be closed and there’s no other benefit from anything other than this main source here that we benefit from. December twenty-first is a time when it will be the boost of the Xunantunich archaeological site, the time when tourists will come big time. So one of the things I don’t really understand, we are going to lose big amount of jobs like I said before, we need to do something about this problem.”

Amin Aviles, Tour Guide, Xunantunich

“Moneywise, you’re looking at—on a minimum wage, if we do one tour per day which we’ve been doing from day one, you’re looking close from eighty to a hundred dollars per day; that’s per day per guide and it’s about ten of us that are out here. Maximum, you’re looking at if we do two or three tours, that’s two to three hundred dollars a day per guide.”

Minelia Chan

Minelia Chan, Vendor, Succotz Village

“I have kids, many of them have kids too and we have to sell every day. I send my kids to school and in two weeks if I don’t come what will happen? My kids will not eat?”

Delahnie Bain

“And do you all have anywhere else to go these two weeks that the place will be closed?”

Minelia Chan

“Nowhere. Only we are here and we can’t go to Cahal Pech.”

They also believe that December twenty-first should be devoted to the Mayan celebration and say the music festival should be moved to either a different date or location.

Amin Aviles

Amin Aviles

“What we’re asking is if the departments and the government would actually look at the time they’re looking at, if they could actually change that time, don’t use this time which is the most important time for the Mayas, which is the most event which everyone is waiting for. They could move at least to January or move the location. That’s what we’re asking. We’re not against anything that they’re doing; it’s fine, it’s economic for the country, it’s good ideas that they’re doing but not this time.”

Glenda Pinelo

Glenda Pinelo, Vendor, Succotz Village

“The twenty-first is not a day for party. It’s a special day for Maya celebration; it’s not a party day. I don’t know why they are doing that like a party day. It’s not for party, it’s a sacred day.”

Elfredo Panti Sr., Tour Guide, Succotz Village

Elfredo Panti Sr.

“All the world has their eyes on Mesoamerica, middle America and particularly Belize. We’re proud to live in Belize because all the world is watching us and so there are thousands of tourists coming to Belize, visiting the sites and especially that particular day, they want to commemorate the end of the Mayan Calendar. That’s how we see it.”

But according to the Village Council spokesperson, Wilson Pat, the problem is simply the lack of notice and information. He says the Music Festival will actually benefit the residents of the village.

Wilson Pat, Spokesperson/Treasurer, Village Council

“The benefits of those—part of it will come to the village and part will be for NICH, archaeology to improve the sites and things. I mean, it’s a worthy concert their having, but the problem is that they didn’t consult, they didn’t spread the information before it is going to happen. So if it was going to happen like one month, give notice one month before and then everyone will know what to do, where to go.  Last night they sent a person to us to inform me what will happen and on Tuesday we’ll have a meeting with the minister and responsible persons to explain everything and to clarify all this mishap, all this up and downs that’s happening but the thing is a matter of procedure.”

Pat explains that the tour guides and vendors will also have opportunities to continue making money, especially on the two days of the festival.

Wilson Pat

Wilson Pat

“If this site is being closed, we have the neighbor Cahal Pech, where I think it’s being done to divert everything to Cahal Pech right now so they can do their business. Also, the information that I got is that NICH will hire workers from Succotz and if these guys—they are involved here, they are part of us so they can easily get a job there working for those days with NICH.  It will be closed on the site, but the highway will not be closed to vehicles coming from Petén and other areas, they can stop in and buy the artifacts and everything. Moreover, on those two days, they will be open at the site; they will put tables for them so they can display the arts and craft and sell it. Those two days, the twentieth and the twenty-first, everybody will be going up. It starts from like four o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night so they have enough time to sell anything they want. And it’s not only locals. It’s an international fest so it’s a time when they can make a little money.”

Meanwhile, Alberto Panti, the acting president of the Cayo West Tour Guide Association has been reaching out to relevant authorities to work out a solution.

Alberto Panti

“What I have been trying to do and I want to be clear here that I contacted Mr. Erwin Contreras this morning and he said that he is having a meeting with the Prime Minister of Belize today and later on he is going to talk to Mr. Heredia concerning the closing of the site. That is one of the few things I have done and I think that on Tuesday we are going to go to Belmopan for a meeting with the prime minister.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Channel 5

#452887 - 12/06/12 09:11 AM Re: Major Int'l Fest Planned For Xunantunich [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,434
Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
Don't make any plans for the shows just yet. This is a bush league outfit who probably can't get past the receptionist at the agency to book an act. Mounting this is akin to a military operation. Lan, so right about Live Nation. I worked for Irving Azoff, now CEO of Live Nation for 16 yrs and visited with him this summer. I have also worked hundreds of concerts and many large festivals and know what is required. Good question-how do you insure the site? what is its value? Wonderful if anyone even thought about that.

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