Festivals Commission backtracks on Ivena ban

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Some overnight thinking and early morning fresh legal advice has prompted the Festivals Commission to back down from its stance that calypsonian Lena “Ivena” Phillip would not be allowed to perform if she didn’t sign an indemnity agreement with the Festivals Commission before performing her controversial song Nastiness tonight at the semi finals.
A well-placed source told OBSERVER media that the commission sought a second legal opinion on the matter today, less than 24 hours after it gave the artiste an ultimatum to sign the agreement and change her lyrics which Prime Minister Gaston Browne alleges defames him.
The source said the lawyer advised the Commission to allow the singer to perform as scheduled tonight, and not to demand that she change her lyrics or sign any agreement. The source said the artiste and her manager/song writer Kublai Mannix will be informed of the decision before noon today.
The Festivals Commission was advised it would just have to “cross that hurdle” if or when the prime minister decides to sue over the lyrics which he says suggest he is corrupt, has committed misfeasance in public office and is guilty of criminal activity.
Yesterday, Mannix said they would not follow the other artistes who signed the indemnity agreement which would have absolved the Commission from paying legal costs or damages should it lose any defamation lawsuit stemming from songs to be performed at the semi finals tonight. He said the artiste was resigned to her fate of not singing. She has already been issued legal notice of the prime minister’s defamation lawsuit which was filed earlier this month.
The song Nastiness references the financial relationship between the government/Prime Minister and his wife’s charity Share Incorporated.

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