‘Do the right thing’ – Promoters caution colleagues as entertainment gets green light | Entertainment

After more than a year of lockdown, the entertainment industry will be getting a well-needed reprieve from the Government.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced in Parliament yesterday that small outdoor events would be allowed with a maximum of 100 persons. Indoor events will be held at 60 per cent of the useable square footage of the venue. The islandwide nightly curfew has been moved to 11 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, and to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Key entertainment players are breathing a sigh of relief.

“We are happy with the PM’s announcement to usher in a re-opening of the sector. It is an obvious good sign for an industry that has been suffering for well over a year. We are headed in the right direction,” said popular promoter Gyete Ghartey. But Ghartey, who plans larger events such as Mello Vibes and Yesterday, held at Mas Camp, said he will be in a ‘wait and see’ phase for the next few weeks before going ahead with any plans, just in case the sector closes again, as it did last year after a small reopening.

Stone Love founder and Weddy Weddy Weddy Wednesdays promoter Winston ‘Wee Pow’ Powell says he is looking forward to resuming his weekly party series.

“I understand that this is an experimental thing and we have to now watch and see how it goes but I welcome the changes. It is a good break for us in the sector,” he said, while applauding Holness’ decision to reduce the cost of securing event permits. Holness revealed that as part of the reprieve package for the financially crippled sector, the municipal corporations have agreed to cut the cost of permits and licences by 50 per cent.

“That is a big plus for us. The permit cost was too high from day one plus we a run on low funds right now and a lot of persons will be starting again from scratch so that is a very good gesture from Mr Holness,” said Powell. But while the promoters are happy with the lifeline thrown to the sector, they are wary that the plug could be easily pulled again.

“We just affi do the right thing and memba wah happen the last time. We nuh want get three weeks and den lock again fi a year, dat nuh make sense,” said Hotta Rice, promoter of Day Rave Thursdays. Powell said promoters can’t afford to ‘go crazy’.

“So I want to advise my colleagues to remember that this is just something experimental so it can be shut off at any given time so let us take the best care possible,” he said.

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