Tax Incentives Could Lure International Artists, Says Underwood

The Ladies of Jazz event organiser Darlene Underwood believes that tax incentives could attract international artists to Fiji.
Last weekend, Ms Underwood organised the hugely successful Ladies of Jazz at Shenanigans in Suva where the contribution made by women in Jazz was recognised.
“I love Jazz music; I know Fiji has a good jazz following and I thought it would be good to put on a Jazz show for the sake of jazz music enthusiasts,” she said.
“I would like to see that Jazz music, especially performed live, is here to stay. I have spoken about forming a Jazz Society that will help in keeping Jazz alive and well.
“This will also help in preserving and promoting live Jazz in Fiji. And yes, I intend to do more shows too.”
Ms Underwood’s next venture will look at getting some of the biggest names in reggae to Fiji next year.
“I also have plans to host Fiji’s first-ever international Reggae Summer festival in 2020, pending talks with a major sponsor and other stakeholders,” she said.
“This will be modelled on similar international reggae shows such as Rototom Sun Splash (Spain) Reggae Summer Fest (Jamaica), Raggamuffin (NZ) and others.”
Ms Underwood added Fiji had been a “fly-over” zone for international travelling and touring artists due to the heavy taxes that both producers, agents and the visiting artists had to pay.
“There are no attractive incentives to lure these international performers to our shores,” she said.
“I know there have been ongoing consultations with the relevant bodies and there has been some reprieve for stakeholders.
“But, things have to look a lot more attractive for everyone involved to make this industry grow so that Fiji is the choice “go to” destination for music lovers while on holiday too,” she said.
“Chart-topping artists like Shaggy and Kronixx have written to me saying they would love to bring their music to Fiji and perform live here. Also, Big Mountain has expressed interest to perform here too.”
Sponsor representatives for Victoria Wines and Gato Negro expressed their appreciation for the highly professional delivery of this new music initiative.
Kate Vusoniwailala stated “Victoria Wines and Gato Negro are committed to supporting events like this that showcase and celebrate the creative talent in our community.
Long term restaurant and bar owner and Managing Director of Victoria Wines, Liam Hindle was very enthusiastic in his feedback, commenting that it was a very special evening with some amazing jazz talent: “The atmosphere was incredible…going down the steps into Shenanigans was like going down the stairs into a jazz scene in New Orleans or New York. An amazing experience for Fiji”!

Edited by Percy Kean