Tunisia accuses Rotana of ruining the Carthage Festival

Published August 16th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The Carthage festival in Tunisia is facing fierce attack against all its performances since it was launched. The festival never faced such failure during all the years of its long history. Many shows were cancelled and many were postponed. Poor attendance was witnessed and the media attacked the management and the minister of culture accusing them of insulting the long and successful history of the festival. 


Signs of failure began the moment the Production Company Rotana signed a 700 thousand US dollar contract with the festival's management and accordingly Rotana was in charge of which singers will sing and what the nature of the shows will be. 


One of Rotana's officials commented to the media that next year the festival will be called Carthage Rotana which made people say that the festival should be named Rotana's festival in Carthage. 


The whole intention of the festival was changed dramatically and it was only a show of low class singers singing to a small group of people who came to see the singers and not to listen to them. 


Many of the high-class shows that used to be shown on the theatres of Carthage disappeared this year which made many critics hold the Minister of Culture Abdul Baki Alhermassy responsible for it. The whole intention of the festival was changed from a gathering of high-class entertainment to a cheap nightclub kind of art. 


These actions made some respectful singers apologize to come and participate like Lebanese singer George Wassouf who sent a letter to the minister of culture asking him to contact him personally if they want him to participate and not through Rotana.  


Among the many names in Rotana's singers list taking part in Carthage was Lebanese singers Haifa Wahbi, Yuri Mra’adi, Pascal Mashaalani, and many more. Haifa’s concert was divided into two parts; the first part started with Yuri who was wearing black boots and showed up with a new western look. Yuri started shouting and running on the stage expecting the audience to react with him but he was faced with complete serenity.  


The second part of the concert was for Haifa who danced throughout the performance moving every possible part of her body including parts that have no muscles in them. Haifa shifted from singing to dancing to throwing the roses to the fans then laughing to her fans.  


The night of Haifa’s performance was a failure and the proof was the audience who did not exceed 200. From the performance of the two singers, whose style does not match the taste of the audience, proved great failure and dissatisfaction. 


In a joint concert between Pascal and Syrian singer Nour Muhanna, Pascal learned a hard lesson. The concert started with Nour Muhanna who made the thousands of fans sing with him until midnight, and then to leave Pascal with a couple of hundred after the fans left the theatre. –Albawaba.com 

© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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