P Square's debut show at the Glamis Arena on October 13 has turned the buzz into a boom but many are wondering what's in it for the organisers, Delta Beverages. Questions have been flying all over with fans asking why Delta Beverages was prepared to pay as much as US$150 000 in appearance fees for the Nigerian pop group when the general feeling is that the show is a big loss even before it starts.
Reading from such previous international shows, one would be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that Harare is not prepared to host concerts of this magnitude without incurring making a loss.
Individual promoters who dared bring international acts with an entourage of over 10 group members had themselves to blame after being left blighted in debt due to high costs of food, accommodation, transport or air tickets.
The figure also balloons when you factor in other costs such as the stage, PA system and work permits.
Be that as it may, there is advertising and marketing of the show, which also needs to be budgeted for.
Investigations by The Herald Entertainment showed that Delta Beverages might have sunk their cash down the drain by bringing P Square to Harare.
Understandably, the beverages company paid no less than US$150 000 to bring P Square alone as revealed by information on the group's website.
On the other hand, over 10 local acts including Winky D, Ammara Brown, Chiwoniso Maraire, Mic Inity, DJ Rax, BaShupi and Roki would share among them a minuscule sum of not more than US$10 000.
Now the issue is if Delta Beverages are prepared to pay over US$100 000 to a foreign act why is it so difficult to pay our own artistes at least US$5 000 each?
Maybe that is a story for another day but coming to the P Square deal, it is almost impossible for Delta Beverages to make a profit from the show which begs the question: What's in it for them?
For argument sake, if Delta Beverages paid a whopping U$150 000 to P Square, then roughly they would need not less than 10 000 fans paying US$15 at the gate.
But will 10 000 people pay US$15 to attend she show?
Tuku's birthday bash was reportedly attended by 10 000 fans who paid a minimum of US$10 each and now with US$15, are we going to see the same?
Earlier attempts by aspiring promoters to bring P Square to Harare hit a brick wall because of huge costs involved in staging such a show.
Tafadzwa Simba, head of media and community liaison for the Harare International Festival of the Arts, who were tasked by Delta Beverages to organise the festival, reiterated that the festival was aimed at giving back to the community.
"The objective of the Lion Lager Summer Festival is giving back to its loyal supporters and the community in general.
"It is a time of communal festivities and celebration of all things positive in Zimbabwe and the pride we have in the country. Lion Lager is one such celebrated element in Zimbabwe. It is this ethos that has made Lion Lager to put together a show that has an extremely affordable ticket price structure even though the ensemble represented on stage is worth much more," Simba said.
He, however, declined to say how much was paid to P Square citing "contractual elements".
"As per international best practice and courtesy, it is not possible to discuss such contractual elements.
"With regards to local artistes performing at the Lion Lager Summer Festival, courtesy again precludes comment on contractual matters. Suffice to say that all fees were happily arrived at via mutual agreement even though the rate is at the highest end of the rate spectrum of market value that the artistes have demonstrably and objectively assigned themselves," he said.