Entertainment gets green light - But promoters urge colleagues and patrons to observe protocols
Party promoters are now breathing a sigh of relief as restrictions placed on the entertainment industry have been relaxed.
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie yesterday announced in Parliament a phased re-opening of the industry.
He indicated that small outdoor events like round robins and festivals can be held, as of July 21, until July 31.
Amusement parks, water attractions and sports bars would also be allowed to temporarily resume operations during that period.
However, McKenzie warned that no entertainment event could be held without a permit from the relevant municipal corporations, and should end one hour before the 11 p.m. curfew.
Additionally, approved events must not have more than 250 patrons, with a maximum of another 30 persons comprising of individuals such event staff and performers, also in attendance.
Patrons are expected to practise social distancing, continue wearing their masks, and sanitising.
Event promoter and artiste manager, Romeich Major, said the decision may not work for everyone, but "this is a start and nothing beats a start".
"At the end of the day, the everyday man can go back and keep him round robin, street parties can keep again, nine-night and set-up can keep again. It's way better than nothing and so I appreciate it," he said.
Entire fraternity excited
Veteran selector Tallman, of popular sound system Di Unit, told THE STAR that although the test period is short, the announcement has got the entire fraternity excited.
"This comes at a good time because back to school is right around the corner and now the small man can start doing his business again to help with that. People already start asking which and which dates we have available. It's a decision the people have been looking forward to and one we really welcome and appreciate," he said.
Fellow selector Hotta Rice, whose event, Day Rave Thursdays, has had to be held virtually since March, says he would be putting in his request for a permit today to ensure it is approved for him to host the first physical staging in four months next week.
"A di happiest news dis mi get from the quarantine. If the first phase run good, it only a go extend and go back to normal. We who a keep the event and patrons affi just follow protocols if we want this continue," he said.
Party promoter Ibrahim Konteh said that the provisions were fair.
"As much as we want to host events, it has to be done properly. The 250 patrons is a brilliant suggestion and the week-by-week analysis is very good," he said. "However, it all comes down to promoters and patrons to hold their composure. It is not a right but a privilege, so that means it can be taken away at any time. "
Major also implored persons to "do the right thing".
"If we get certain rules and laws, at the end of the day, it's best if we just follow it because dem coulda say no party can't keep until things go back to normal. Dem a gi we a chance so we need to just hold up and make sure sey we do weh we affi do properly weh we can make money and uphold the law," Major said.
Tallman noted that officials would be monitoring the events "and so we don't want to do anything to jeopardise this step forward".
Meanwhile, Konteh also called on the municipal corporations, and the various music organisations, to waive the related fees to make it easier for persons to host their events, as everyone has taken a huge hit during this period.