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On Saturday night, the Antigua Recreation Ground was brimming with excitement as thousands of residents turned out for the annual One Nation Concert, a much-awaited event hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
However, the Opposition United Progressive Party has been highly critical of the event, often labeling it as a wasteful expenditure of much-needed resources.
Despite this, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has been vocal about his hopes for the UPP to join the income-generating venture.
Browne has repeatedly defended the event, stating that private investors usually pay the artists, and some even perform for free.
Moreover, he claims that the millions spent on the event by the opposition are vastly lower compared to the economic benefits generated by the concert.
“It generates millions of dollars in economic activities, so it is a net game for the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda. There is no burden on the people, and there is a significant amount of social good,” he said
The event was a free show organized for all residents, featuring noteworthy international artists such as Taurus Riley.
Additionally, Browne said he hopes that the event can provide a platform for young and upcoming artists to learn from and emulate the success of international artists while simultaneously contributing to the growth of the orange economy.
Browne suggested an idea where established artists like Riley could take on young artists and act as mentors, helping them improve their craft and promote their talents.