Bowfest should show performers more consideration
To the Editor:
A few things need to be clarified with regard to Bowfest’s decision not to pay local musicians for their performances. Ms. McSkimming says, “One of the ways to cut costs is to see if the performers would donate their time.” You might be forgiven for thinking from this statement that there had been some sort of discussion between Bowfest and the performers. However, the performers were never asked to donate their time or for their input. We were sent a group email informing us that the decision had been made not to pay performers and expressing regrets to those of us who chose not to play for free. Second, the letter we received clearly states that musicians were paid $3,600 last year and not “more than $5,000”. Third, I assume that the amount of $3,600 included all performers - including those from off the island. Finally, can we assume that the decision not to pay performers will apply to all performers and not just those who live on Bowen?
Many, though admittedly not all, of the musicians who play at Bowfest derive all or most of their income from music.
It seems to me to be a false economy to take money out of the pockets of local musicians, who can ill afford it, in the name of charity. Ms. McSkimmimg is well known for donating large amounts of time to various good works around Bowen and she should, and has, received much kudos for her work. However, many performers through the years have also effectively donated their time and they are just as responsible for the success of Bowfest as any one person.
Frankly, Bowfest should show their performers more consideration and a lot more respect. I hope that people in the community will express support for their local performers directly to Bowfest.