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SUSG pins Sillimusika controversy on ‘misunderstandings’

By Genno Gabriel Rabaya and Nathaniel Carampatana | September 14, 2023

Following claims that Dumaguete-based artists who performed at Sillimusika 2023 did not receive compensation, the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) asserted that the situation arose due to a “lack of better communication” between the organizers and artists.

Angelique Kara Sorbito, Sillimusika 2023 External Co-Chairperson, confirmed that the artists were informed in advance regarding their compensation.

She added that the compensation and contracts were prepared for the artists before the circulation of posts and claimed that “things were ironed out days before the event.”

Despite this, the organizers received feedback from the artists expressing a desire to amend the initial agreement following the announcement of ticket prices. As a result, a subsequent meeting was convened to address the concerns. 

“That’s when I think they were under the impression that they wouldn’t be receiving any compensation [because]… the initial discussion they had wasn’t clearly set straight to [the artists],” said SUSG President Enrica Dinopol.

She added that the SUSG met with the artists during the soundcheck before the event to “[make] it very clear to all of them, verbally, that they would be receiving compensation.”

Afterwards, SUSG Vice-President Timothy Libres said, “I believe the MOAs (memorandum of agreement) were signed officially on the day of the event.”

Moving forward, Dinopol hoped that the situation will differ in the future. 

“We really empathize with [the] concerns [brought up this year], [although those] are concerns that we cannot really do anything for during that moment,” she said. 

Dinopol cited that among these concerns was the limitation of entry due to a mandate that controlled the number of people entering the area to avoid crowd surges.

“We take every criticism constructively because we know, at the end of the day, we want to improve for the student body,” she added.

Sillimusika is an annual “concert for a cause” organized by the SUSG.

This year’s concert featured Filipino indie band Dilaw with other Dumaguete-based artists. It was held last Aug. 23 at the Ravello Ballfield during the Hibalag festivities.

The Weekly Sillimanian has contacted the artists to clarify their version of events, but they have not yet responded as of writing. 

This is a developing story.

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