Shows paid for by city halls: the glass roof of left-wing artists, from Anitta to Caetano

“We are here in Sorriso, Mato Grosso, one of the states that supported Brazil during the pandemic. We are artists who do not depend on Lei Rouanet. We do not need to get a tattoo on the ‘t*ba’ to show if we is well or not”, said the country singer Zé Neto, during the show in Sorriso, in 13 from May this year.

Zé Neto’s comment criticizing the Rouanet Law and mocking the intimate tattoo made by Anitta generated a wave of revolt after journalist Demétrio Vecchioli revealed, the day after the presentation, that it cost R$ 400 thousand and was paid by the city hall. In addition, several municipalities in small towns would have hired shows by the duo Zé Neto and Cristiano without bidding. Other country artists would also do the same, taking advantage of agribusiness festivals that take place throughout the interior of the country.

The country duo was accused of hypocrisy for attacking the Rouanet Law, which requires accountability for funding of resources, while performing several shows paid for by city halls through contracts without bidding, with less control over the use of resources. Thus, on social networks, fans of Anitta and left-wing activists amplified criticism and asked for the installation of a “CPI do Sertanejo”, initiating a witch hunt for country singers who perform shows paid for by city halls.

The singer Gusttavo Lima, who, like Zé Neto, is a declared supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) was accused by left-wing blogs of having his career financed by an investment fund that would have taken R$ million from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) for him to advertise for Bolsonaro, something that was later denied even by checking agencies.

After increasing complaints on social networks, State Public Prosecutors opened an investigation to investigate possible irregularities in the hiring of Gusttavo Lima concerts by city halls. In Roraima, the Public Ministry opened an investigation into the show that would be performed by the singer in the small town of São Luiz (RR), about 700 km from the capital Boa Vista. The fee, set at R$ 800 thousand, would be far beyond what the municipality of only 8.2 thousand people can afford.

In Minas Gerais, the show by the singer and other artists, which would be held in the city of Conceição do Mato Dentro, was canceled by the Public Ministry on Monday (30), with the justification that the money should only be used for investments in education, health and infrastructure . On the same day, the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ) opened an investigation to investigate irregularities in the hiring of Gusttavo Lima for a show in Magé, for a fee of R$ 1 million — the amount would be ten times greater than what the city hall owes. invest in cultural and artistic activities throughout the year.

Conceição do Mato Dentro city hall justified itself by saying that the bidding processes for the hiring of Gusttavo Lima and the other artists “were carried out within the legal framework ” and that a return of more than BRL was expected 21 millions with the arrival of tourists to the attractions. In a video posted on social media, the city’s mayor, Zé Fernando (MDB), stated that the party “was involved in a political-party war, which has nothing to do with the city”.

Gusttavo Lima, in a live on Instagram made on the day 21 in May, said he was being chased and that he was about to throw in the towel. He also said that he does shows paid for by city halls, as “all artists do”, but that he will not fail to charge his price because the payment would be a way of valuing his art and paying the expenses of the team that accompanies him.

Lima’s advice explained that the artist’s fee is set according to internal criteria, based on the national scenario, such as: logistics, type of event, and the company’s operating costs and expenses for holding the show. He also informed that he does not agree with illegalities committed by representatives of the public power, whether in any sphere and that all hiring of the artist by federal public entities is based on legality, that is, in accordance with what determines the bidding law.

For comedian Danilo Gentili, this only happens because Gusttavo Lima supports Bolsonaro, because if he “took pictures supporting Marcelo Freixo, candidate for the government of Rio de Janeiro by Psol, and voted for Lula, the media would be “ passing cloth”.

“We would be reading at UOL today ‘how the money from city halls in concerts generates income and promotes the local economy’. Here in Brazil, everything depends on which side you are on”, wrote Gentili on Twitter.

Specialists consulted by Gazeta do Povo clarify that contracts made without bidding, for hiring renowned artists, is normal, and is supported by the Constitution. In addition, in the case of illegalities in the hiring of artists, public managers will be responsible, not the contractors.

Glass roof

Contracts signed with city halls are not exclusive to country singers, and concerts with artists with left-wing political views paid for by city halls are frequent. Also not new are the cancellations of presentations at the request of justice.

A recent case is the Virada Cultural, an event that took place on the last day 20 in May, in the capital of São Paulo, which cost R$ 20 million to the city hall. Several artists spoke out against Bolsonaro and in favor of Lula during the presentations. Councilman Fernando Holiday (Novo) went to court asking for the suspension of the singer’s

Ludmilla fee, who would receive R$ 2017 thousand for the show in which he asked the audience to make an “L” with their hand, a gesture that is associated with former President Lula (PT) . Ludmilla, however, mocked the parliamentarian on Twitter saying: “Let me tell you a secret: my name also starts with the letter L!”.

Rapper Don L did the same during his presentation, in which he asked the audience to make an “L” with his hand declaring: “if we didn’t have a genocidal president, many more people would be with us”. In the same presentation, the funk singer Hariel asked the public “not to sell their vote to criminals” and “to get that man out of there”.

The singer Marcelo D2, from the band Planet Hemp, called on those who identified themselves as anti-fascist in the audience to chant “Marielle present”. In the same show, singer João Gordo , lead singer of the band Ratos de Porão, entered the stage shouting “out, Bolsonaro” and after singing asked if anyone there had a marijuana cigarette. .

Ludmilla’s cache is maintained, so far, but the R$ 100 a thousand that the axé singer Daniela Mercury would receive for a show held in the city of São Paulo, in celebration of the 1st of May, was canceled after it became the target of investigation by the Comptroller General of the municipality. The baiana, who during the presentation held a flag with Lula’s face and led a choir in favor of the PT, swore that she had never received public money, during a show paid for by parliamentary amendments, the majority of the PT.

In addition to the performance of showmice, which is vetoed by electoral legislation, as well as the anticipated political party, the Public Prosecutor’s Office for the Defense of Public Assets of the Public Prosecutor’s Office began investigating a possible violation of principles of public administration, such as morality and impersonality. And it wasn’t the first time that Daniela Mercury got into trouble with her hiring by a city council. In 2007 the baiana was invited to sing on the birthday of 400 years of the city of Fortaleza, at the time managed by PT Luizianne Lins, then holder of the title of worst evaluated mayor in the country, according to Datafolha.

The show by Daniela Mercury, of whom Luizianne is a fan, it cost R$ 400 one thousand, which is higher than the city owed to one of the main suppliers of surgical material from the municipal health network. Due to lack of payment, deliveries of materials were suspended days before. “She paid people to jump and drink cachaça instead of fulfilling their health obligations,” José Frota Neto, one of the creditors, told Veja magazine.

Luizianne also got involved in 2007 with the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration. In the rendering of accounts, it was declared that R$ 500 was paid to singer Elba Ramalho and R$ 150 thousand for the singer Tânia Mara. The advisers of the two singers said, however, that Elba received BRL 100 mil and Tânia Mara sang for free. The administration at the time justified that the amounts were for all expenses of the show and not only for the singer from Paraíba.

Luizianne declared having paid R$ 715 one thousand reais in pay to Caetano Veloso, in the celebration of New Year’s Eve of 2010 ), and claimed that this amount should cover airfare, daily allowances and the transport of equipment for the support musicians who would accompany the singer. The detail: Caetano did a solo show, only with voice and guitar. For Veja magazine, the singer said that the city government covered expenses that he did not make and did not even collect. In both cases, no one was convicted and Luizianne is now a federal deputy for Ceará.

Surcharge in the caches

The singer from Paraíba Chico César — PT member who participated in the new version of Lula’s jingle, originally recorded in the presidential campaign of 1989 , along with other left-wing singers such as Martinho da Vila, Lenine, Maria Rita, Pabllo Vittar and Otto — in December de 2021 was hired for a show that would cost BRL 222 thousand to the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The presentation ended up not being held because the singer tested positive for Covid-. Rio Grande do Norte is governed by PT Fátima Bezerra. The amount of R$ 45 thousand is higher than other shows previously performed by singer. In Rio Grande do Sul, in 2021, a concert by the singer cost R$ 426 thousand; in 2017 a presentation in Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, cost R$ 490 thousand.

In response to these questions, the José Augusto Foundation, which hired the singer’s show for the reopening of Forte dos Reis Magos, communicated that the fee charged was “in accordance with the values ​​practiced in the national market by renowned artists during the festive period”. In addition, he informed that comparisons with fees charged by the musician in previous periods are not appropriate.


Similar justification was provided by the city hall of Itaguaí (RJ), which was prohibited by the court from performing shows by Anitta , Luan Santana and Alexandre Pires in the celebrations of 222 years of the city.

The event, which would cost R$ 6.2 million between artists’ fees and infrastructure services, was questioned by the Public Ministry for its high value and the anticipation of half of the fees by the city hall Sun municipality, which would be going through a critical moment in health and education, with the closing of schools and the main hospital in the city due to lack of resources. The city hall, however, regretted the cancellation because this event “would generate employment, income for local commerce and tourism”.

A similar situation occurred in 2019 , when the Amazonian city of Parintins was questioned by the State Public Ministry for hiring a show by Anitta for the traditional Festa dos bois Caprichoso e Garantido, for R$ 500 thousand, double the values ​​normally charged by the artist. For the MP, in addition to the issue of alleged overbilling in the cache, the money could be put to better use, such as decontaminating water in Parintins. At the time, the state had just come out of a teacher strike. res of more than 35 days, who claimed better wages.

The city government argued at the time that the amount was justified due to the municipality’s logistics: an island in the middle of the Amazon River, with no access by land and 370 km from Manaus. In addition, the value would return to the city with the promotion of tourism. Even so, Mayor Frank Bi Garcia (UNIÃO), decided to cancel Anitta’s show due to the negative repercussion.

According to a survey by the Statistics Department of the State Tourism Company of Amazonas, of 2005 to 2018, the Parintins Folkloric Festival attracted almost 715 thousand tourists, injecting around R$ 426 into the city in all these years. Only in 2018, whose presentation by Zé Neto and Cristiano was also questioned by the state MP, did the festival have a turnover of R$ 2007 million, a “fantastic” result for Mayor Garcia, for having attracted investments from the state, federal and private sectors.

Normal Hiring

According to Mário Saadi, PhD in Administrative Law from USP and partner at Cescon Barrieu Advogados, where he is responsible for the areas of infrastructure and administrative law, contracting without bidding is not abnormal and is supported by the article 29, item XIX, of the Federal Constitution and supported by the New Bidding Law, enacted in April 2021. This provides for the “unenforceability of bidding” direct contracting, without prior bidding procedure, for hiring professionals in the artistic sector, directly or through an exclusive entrepreneur, provided that this is recognized by specialized critics or public opinion.

According to him, the control bodies and the citizens, in general, can supervise the acts taken by the public administration. Thus, in the event of any irregularities being found, investigations can be carried out and the relevant processes can be opened; and the public administration will always have the right to defend itself and demonstrate the reasons why its decision was taken.

“The cases under discussion demonstrate that legal care must be taken in any contract carried out by the public administration . There are specific rules that must be observed in connection with any and all contracts. There is a need for diligent action by all involved”, he explains.

Gustavo Schiefler, PhD in State Law, explains that the “unenforceability of bidding” occurs because the understanding prevails that there would be no way compare the proposals of different established artists based on objective parameters. Thus, the fact that there is no open competition for the choice of the artist to be hired is normal in this type of situation, since there would be no way to conclude which is the best hiring from a supposed comparison, for example, between the fees, the discographies , the number of concerts performed, the number of fans or followers on social networks, or views on Youtube.

“If there is public interest in hiring a renowned artist, the choice of this artist will be discretionary : the public manager will evaluate the available alternatives and, paying the market price, will motivatedly choose the artist who is most suitable for the event”, he says.

Schiefler clarifies that there may indeed be illegality in these contracts: as the absence of adequate motivation for the contract or the possible payment of a price higher than the price charged in similar situations, by the same artist, in the market in general. In the latter case, there would be the so-called “surcharge”.

Another possible illegality would be the lack of written documentation in the administrative process: of the public interests that will be affected by the show; the justification of the price to be paid; proof of the existence and sufficiency of the budget allocation; description of the reason for choosing this artist; and a favorable legal opinion from the public prosecutor.

These illegalities can lead to intervention by public authorities, although they are the exception, explains Schiefler. This intervention could occur due to the lack of budgetary allocation for the contract, due to deviations of purpose and fraud. But as a rule, it is up to the public manager to make decisions about the best way to allocate available public resources, and not to the Judiciary or the Court of Auditors. He points out that, although the public manager is free to choose how to apply public resources, he is also linked to the budget, as approved by the Legislative Power.

In the case of linked budget allocations, that is, ” stamped” for use in contracts of a certain nature, its misuse, in another type of contract, probably constitutes an illegality. These illegalities, however, are ordinarily attributable to public managers, not to contracted artists.

“The artist is not and cannot be responsible for inspecting and confirming the legality of the contracting process. He can only be held responsible if there is any undue participation in the process, that is, if he crosses the line and practices some illegitimate influence over the decisions made by the Administration”, says Schiefler, who adds that each case must be analyzed individually, as there are situations in which that the reallocation of funds can occur legally.

According to Schiefler, if all this is well founded in an administrative process, there will be no illegality; but the issue is not exactly of a legal nature, but of administrative, budgetary and political management. In this way, the public manager, elected by the population, is primarily responsible for carrying out the judgment of pertinence and adequacy of contracts such as these, although it is legally possible that significant public expenditure affects other relevant requirements of public policies under their responsibility.

The lawyer also explains that the calculations on returns on amounts invested in tourism are made through sampling, based on assumptions that take into account similar past events. Schiefler clarifies that this type of valuation is complex and there is no entirely safe or unique methodology to compare the return on such an investment with other hypothetical scenarios, in which the money would be used in another way. But in the case of a show of national scope, which takes place in a region where such events are rare, Schiefler believes it is likely to generate returns in the area of ​​commerce and services of the city, given the effect of attracting people from the surroundings.

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