Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The $40 000 bill album launch

Godwin Muzari Entertainment Editor
Jah Prayzah’s album launch that took place at Harare International Conference Centre last week and failed to attract the expected crowd gobbled almost $40 000, it has emerged.
The musician must have anticipated a mega affair and put up the high-budget launch that could have made history had it been attended as the organisers wished.

Local musician usually organise low-key album launches that are sometimes made private events to minimise costs but Jah Prayzah went for the bull’s horns with hope of colourfully unveiling “Kumbumura Mhute”.

Ironically, the Bulawayo edition of the launch which was reportedly well-attended only cost about $6 000. Figures at hand indicate that major costs for the main launch were for hiring the venue, PA system and promoting the show.
The $40 000 bill album launch
Jah Prayzah brought in Charma Girl from Botswana with whom he did a song titled “Dalie Wangu”, and shouldered her travel and subsistence costs including her work permit, although she went on stage for a few minutes during the launch.

Event organisers embarked on a massive promotional campaign for the launch. The cost breakdown seen by The Herald Entertainment shows that the venue was hired for $12 000, promotional material cost $7 000, flights were at $1 500 while permits cost $1 500.

Accommodation was at US$1 000, transport for campaign and launch cost US$ 2 000, PA system was hired for $2 500, tickets and invites cost $2 500 while flights, work permits and accommodation went for $300. The other part of the budget went to venue decoration, car branding, security and ushering as well as printing of tickets and invites, and other minor costs.

The budget could have been higher if artistes that performed at the launch were paid. However, a survey carried by The Herald Entertainment revealed that a commercial gig at HICC can be held for about $20 000 minus artistes’ performance fees.

All artistes that featured at the launch performed for free. Organisers of the launch, Jive Zimbabwe confirmed they used almost $40 000 budget but claimed they did not incur a loss because part of it was funded by sponsors that included PSI Zimbabwe, Diamond Studios, Champion Insurance, PSI, Zimbabwe Youth Council and Goldtech Electronics among others. “It could have been a grand event had everything gone according to plan.

“We expected a huge crowd but we are fine with what we got,” said Benjamin Nyandoro of Jive Zimbabwe.

“We did not incur a loss because the sponsors took care of the other part of the budget. I cannot reveal the figures involved in our deals with sponsors.

“Our VVIP tables were oversubscribed and many other people bought the VVIP non-table tickets at the gate which gave us considerably good returns before we talk about the rest of the auditorium.”

The organisers sold about 200 VVIP tickets at the gate for $30 each while the upper part of the venue got about 100 people for $10 tickets.

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