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Ok, I know it says no politics but I think we can make an exception about this one, since it isn`t one of those themes that will cause a left vs right killing spree. Also I think we all agree on this one.
I just want to share with you what we are going through so I can hear your oppinions and know how it`s handled in other countries, so we can use your experience and apply it here.
Also note that this isn`t a Pro-Evo Morales or Anti-Evo Morales thread at all.
This is just a slip by our national equivalent or the I.R.S. which is in contradiction with legislation about culture and is currently on debate. But this has brought to the table some bigger issues. Like we don`t have an artists union of any kind in the country. The state doesn`t legally recognices us as artist (when we pay taxes we do so as "entertainment agencies" becouse there isn`t an artist category, there aren`t any specific policies or laws to promote cultural and artistic growth...)

So how does the state protect you as an artist in your country? Do you pay taxes? as much as everybody else? how does your artists union work? what benefits you get? have you been part of the birth of an artist union?..








If you want to know about the "slip" by our own I.R.S. and the consequencial protests, read below.



The thing is that there has been some major shows here in Bolivia lately (Shakira, Calle 13... and a couple of more), and apparently, there has been some serious tax evation from the organizers. So our I.R.S. took some definite measures to prevent that from happening again, but they didn`t take into consideration that those terms applied to the average local artist, will kill it`s opportunities to make art. They themselves recogniced in a recent meeting that they don`t know how the local music business works and the damage it creates, so we are trying to see what would be fair and what can be done about it.

Their measures are this:
1) All courtesy tickets must pay taxes (the same ammount as the cheapests tickets sold).
2) All artists/organicers must make a safety deposit to ensure that he will pay the taxes. This deposit must be deposited into a state account on a bank before you start printing the tickets. After you deposit it, you print the tickets, sell them, make the concert, pay your taxes based on the ammount of tickets sold, and only after you have payed your taxes, you get your deposit back (1-3 months later, if they don`t find any irregularity)
3) The deposit is 35% of the retail price of all tickets printed.
One of the most known local bands was making a tribute to Santana in a mid venue (for about 2,000 people).
Their deposit was about 8k$ (the whole lot of tickets printed was about 23k$). Needless to say, they didn`t have enough money since all they had was already invested in sound, venue...etc. so it was canceled, with a big loss for the band and the manager spent on rehearsals, session musicians, publicity...

So after that first show was cancelled, we saw how bad it was and how they were enforcing it, so we started organizing, which is a good thing. Because we are already talking about a national artists union (which we don`t have) and a lot of other things.
One good move we did (a bit inspired by Rage Against the Machine :P) was to make a peaceful concert in the doors of our I.R.S. We took a Marshall JCM800, a powered Behringer speaker with a mike, and we started playing at the front entrance.

We were no threat whatsoever, but still they closed the main entrance because it`s made of glass, not wall, so they always do that as a standart precaution. But in our case they left the side door open, so inside everything was moving normally and no one was obscructed of doing their daily duties, which NEVER happens in these kinds of protests.
Here is a pic of the protest. That`s me on the left with the gray t-shirt with the floor tom
We even made a banner that says "Clausurado" (shut down) with is the banner they put on the door of a business when they close it for tax evasion. So we put ours in their door.

Even the police elite unit came armed with tear gas and everything ready to use it on us. We talked to them, explained the situation, that we were artists, not rioters, that we were making a peaceful and artistic demonstration, that people were going in and out through the side gates and everything was going on normally...
They told us that it was orders from above to get that door cleared, but if we promised to leave peacefully, they were going to let us play for half an hour more. So we played 6 songs (with ALL national media broadcasting live at noon) and we left, but not without thanking the cops through the speaker and giving them a big round of applause for handling things peacefully, for once.

The minister of culture saw that on TV and freaked out (especially since it was two days before the beginning of the meeting of all culture ministers from latin-america).
She had no idea about the cancellation of the santana tribute, or that it was being enforced on local artists. So she started moving and calling meetings with us and people from the I.R.S.
This was on monday, so we are barely starting to work on the subject.

That is why I need different perspectives of how we should work, and concrete examples of other countries that we can bring to the table so the people from the I.R.S. see how it is handled and how it should be handled.

I think that is as much as I can talk about the subject for it to remain impartial and non-political