“No events, no income, no relief funds”- promoters say government’s treatment is a “slap in the face”

Jeniel Lamb

3 years ago

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On Tuesday Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced relaxed measures for funerals and somewhat of a reopening for sporting activities. There has also been phased reopening in schools and even plans to add more schools to the list in the coming weeks.

 However, the PM was quick to point out there should be no entertainment activity. He did state that entertainment stakeholders have made proposals to reopen the industry and those will be reviewed in the coming week.

 “The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Entertainment and Sport, and the Ministry of Local Government will meet next week and discuss proposals as to how the industry can resume.

This, however, hasn’t pacified many promoters who are very well versed on Jamaican entertainment and its in’s and out’s.

Shawn Parkinson from the Hardwine team said the lack of planning for the entertainment industry even though it was the first to be closed is “disheartening and discouraging”.

Adam Fernandez Managing Director and Mikhail De Gale Creative and Marketing Director, from Fete Republic expressed that the lack of effort felt “like a slap in the face”.They both made the point that entertainment is responsible for putting Jamaica on the map therefore it was expected that there would be some conversations after 11 months of a closed sector.

Mikhail added that the BOJ estimates that the entertainment industry brings in 85.1 billion dollars to our economy and to have no contact is disheartening. 

Ibrahim IB Konteh says while he is happy that the government is finally taking steps to see what can be done to open the industry,

” It was unfair and unconscionable that there was no form of relief for persons who were affected”

Jywanza Hall from the DayBreak team makes it clear that at the end of the day he just wants to have dialogue with the governing bodies about the possibilities and what can be done. He made the point that when you open schools and the parents are a part of the entertainment sector,

the same decorator has to take their child to school”. 

The promoters share that they do understand the need to protect the citizens of the country from the spreading of the virus but is also important to address the livelihoods of other persons in the industry who have been affected such as the production teams, vendors, decorators, wholesales and even the peanut man at every event is feeling this lockdown on the entertainment sector.  They also believe that opening in phases, similar to sports and education, would be the best way to test what’s best for Industry.