Ukhrul: At least for Manipur, it all started with a tweet by one Mizo Zeitgeist (find tweet at the bottom) on August 4, Thursday about the non-payment of the The Prophets, a christian progressive metal band from Aizawl, Mizoram, who bagged the first prize of ShiRock 2022, winning a whooping cash prize of Rs 10 lakh on the final day of ShiRock 2022, May 28.
As told by the band, the organiser of ShiRock 2022 reportedly told The Prophets that the winner money would be transferred in one weeks time after the end of the contest. It has been two full months since ShiRock 2022 concluded.
Sensing the frustration, Ukhrul Times reached out to the band, and what they revealed this reporter was a shocker.
Must read | The Prophets paid in full today; says ‘Thanks to supporters’
The band told this reporter, “We cannot wait any longer. We are going to call our lawyer this time.”
We asked the band how many times they have reached out to the concerned department, the Manipur tourism department, or ShiRock 2022 event organiser? They responded saying, “We cannot talk to tourism department because we don’t know how to contact them. We have been in touch with ShiRock organiser, Allen Robertson but he told us that they don’t know what to do too!”
The Phophets with immense bitterness further told, “After winning the contest we were happy and glad to have won such a huge amount of money. We asked when the money would be deposited and the organiser told us that the same will take only a week. We waited for a week but then they said a month. We waited patiently for a month, but again there was no update from them about the money. A month later they said it was going to take longer since it is the Manipur government’s money. Things will take a bit longer, the organiser said. So we waited for another month. It has been two months already. But now it is spilling over to the third month since the contest ended. We are so disappointed, even the people of Mizoram. Its been in local news all over Mizoram now, and we still haven’t got the money. If they don’t have the money to organise such a huge prize, why don’t they just don’t run such show? We’ve been working very very hard for the contest. We spent all our money for the audition round in Guwahati for food, hotel, flights etc. We invested a lot to get to the final. So we are so disappointed right now and surely we are going to call our lawyer! This the end.”
Speaking to the Event manager of ShiRock 2022 Ramngachan Kazingmei, Gigbox Productions Private Limited whom tourism department gave the contract to run ShiRock 2022 for 1.5 crore, told this reporter that the state tourism department has so far released payments meant for ShiRock overall expenditure, including prize money payments in two installments. However, the issued amount by the government has not been substantial enough to close the dues owed to vendors, firms, bands etc. “The full money has not been released by the government. The organisers, including me are getting threats from vendors for non-payment. I have no answer. We are made the scapegoat under this circumstances,” Ramngachan rued.
However when asked about the amount the state government has issued in the second installment, the Event manager declined to answer the question.
It has come to light that the first runner up of ShiRock 2022, Symphonic Illusions from Meghalaya who won a sum of Rs 5 lakh has not been reportedly paid after two months, including Reverse Tragedy (2019 ShiRock headliner) from Mizoram.
ShiRock 2022 list of winners:
Winner: The Prophets from Mizoram – 10 lakh
1st Runner up: Symphonic Illusions from Meghalaya – 5 lakh
2nd Runner up: 1BHK from Manipur Rs 2.5 lakh
Six individual prizes were handed out:
Suraj Chingkheimayum (Aural Paradox) was chosen as the best vocal.
Jaye Haokip (Echoes of Mercy) adjudged the Best Bassist,
Donald Pheiphi (Variation 4) secured The Best Guitarist,
Raegan Yuumnam (Terra Progeny) was awarded The Best Drummer,
Samuel (The Prophets) for The Best Keyboardist, and
The Symphonic Illusions earned the title for The Best Stage Performance.