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Legal diaries of the Festival of Yury Bashmet. Note two. About sponsors and partners

3 October 2014

The festival is in a high gear, musicians warm up their fingers, and Revera Consulting Group continues its narration about a role of lawyers in preparation of the largest festival of classical music in Belarus. After all issues have been settled with the Ministry of Culture and the Minsk city executive committee and all approvals for the festival are obtained, it’s time to ensure its financial part. Namely, it’s time to come to an agreement and formalize relations with those who are ready to help to prepare the cultural event  either with words, or with actions, or with money, or with all together.

Within 9 years of its holding the festival has met a lot of friends which help organizers every year. Friendship in words is wonderful, but it’s impossible to hold an event without legal arrangements.

Sponsors for a coming festival of Yury Bashmet usually show up even before a preceding festival is over. But the main work to conclude sponsor agreements begins in June-July. It consists of several stages. The first one that took a lot of time in 2013 and now has passed more quietly is development of draft agreements. RCG associates have developed three types of agreements to organize sponsor work: agreements on gratuitous help, partnership agreements and agreements on advertising services during the festival.

It seems so easy: you should only agree upon terms and conditions and go ahead. But not so fast, before you start negotiating or signing agreements, another stage of works should be completed. You should obtain a permit to carry out currency operations issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, because some of the festival partners are foreign companies.

While the National Bank processes the submitted documents, you can start negotiating agreements with all sponsors. Some parts of documents do not cause any special discussions, especially if the matter is about cooperation of many years, and some parts require meticulous improvement. For example, a great number of approvals are connected with the part about targeted use of sponsor funds. Upon the end of the festival organizers should report to their benefactors in respect of all expenses damn near the last clip.

If we speak about purposes, received funds are distributed in such a way so that foreign currency covers fees of visitor artists to the maximum, other sums are spent to lease a hall and to pay for advertising. After all the agreements have been signed and sponsor funds are on the bank account of the organizers, the following stage is engaged. It regards foreign friends of the festival. This time the whole package of documents that includes agreements, certificates sustaining receipt of funds, lists of impending expenses and much more is submitted to the Department for humanitarian activities of the Administration of the President. The plump folder with the submitted documents is processed by the Department within a month, and sometimes the Department requests additional documents. After such processing the organizers get a cherished document  that permits to use the received funds. After this procedure the most interesting part begins: preparation of an organizational and technical base for the festival that includes such issues as lease of rooms, negotiating riders with artists, purchase of scores (yes, even that happens) and much more about what we will tell you in the following chapter of our diaries.

And one more thing concerning work with sponsors. After the festival ends a report about the spent funds (up to that last clip) should be provided not only to helping companies, but to the now well-known Department for humanitarian activities of the Administration of the President. Hereafter we take our leave for some time and proceed to remembering yesterday solo concert of the world famous pianist Barry Douglas.