Philippine Daily Inquirer / 03:03 AM February 23, 2014
Before allegations surfaced that the 7107 International Music Festival was funded by suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, there have been other instances when money for producing concerts was provided by a city official and even a senator.
The promoter who tapped the city official to bankroll several concerts featuring foreign acts is now said to be neck-deep in debt because the shows ended up as financial disasters. “Nagtatago na,” whispered an insider in the concert scene.
In the case of the senator, he probably couldn’t care less if the concert he financed made money or not, since the reason he got into the picture was to promote his real estate projects.
What makes the 7107-Napoles issue particularly mysterious is that the promoters were said to have encountered difficulty in making the 50-percent downpayment for the headliner act Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose total talent fee is reportedly $2 million or almost P90 million.
If Napoles’ son, James, was, indeed, involved as a financier in the festival, why would it be so hard to come up with that kind of cash?
The cost of the entire event, as reported by an online news site, is estimated at P250 million—inclusive of talent fees for more than 50 performing acts, 12 of whom are foreign.
That’s chicken feed, considering that all James has to do is ask permission from his mom to scoop loose change from her bathtub. But that’s adding too much color to our imagination.
For all we know, James has decided to distance himself from the festival as soon as rumors about Napoles money being laundered in 7107 spread in social media.
Yet the main concern now of those traveling from Manila to the festival grounds in Clark, Pampanga, is whether the event would go smoothly without hassles in the venue and hotel accommodations.
Last Friday, Inquirer Lifestyle received reports that a handler of some of the Filipino bands in the lineup has complained of the arrangements for the hotel accommodations.
The second day of the music fest continues Sunday, with the Chili Peppers performing from 10:30 p.m. till midnight. Pocholo Concepcion