Agency Group cutting back on booking of Jamaican artists!
I was just reading an article written by Kevin Jackson for the Jamaica Observer on famed booking agent Peter Schwartz of the Agency Group decision to cut back on the number of Jamaican artists his company represents. Venturing a guess as to why I thought to myself “Visa problems”!
and I was right, “I still do represent a handful of them and I still love the music and genre, but unfortunately, many of the artistes I represented in reggae have come into issues that have prevented me from continuing to build their touring careers,” Schwartz explained.
“Many have lost their US visas or work permits and without those, I obviously cannot book them here,” he added. “Some have unfortunate legal issues and in the case of Gregory Isaacs, one of my hardest working reggae artistes, he sadly passed away.” source: Observer
Now I know some people will disagree with me when I say that the artist holds responsibility to this issue BUT let’s be fair, the stories of studio shooting, rant and raves on youtube, bad behavior in the press, etc. At some point it comes down to the individual because THEY make it bad for those artists who work hard and stay out of trouble. I personally know an artist who went to get a work visa and was denied, he was then told on a runabout way that he could thank the one that came before him. Of course to play devil’s advocate I will say that at times the entities that secure the visas have refused almost out of spite, and I can’t pretend to know where does the blame start, but I can say for a fact that the artist who wants to travel and play to international audiences needs to look at his actions and surroundings before crying foul.