CONCERNED that un-professionalism is hurting the reggae product in North America, industry players have proposed the establishment of an oversight body to help improve standards.
Jamaican attorney and music business consultant Lloyd Stanbury says that body, the Reggae Business Network North America (RBN North America), will come on stream next year.
"The RBN will be open for membership to reggae business professionals, individuals and companies from around the world who do business in North America. Only persons who strive for the highest levels of professionalism in business will be members and benefit from the information and business developmental opportunities that the RBN will seek to facilitate," Stanbury told the Jamaica Observer.
Stanbury was part of a five-member panel that came up with wide-ranging suggestions to improve standards especially among artistes and promoters.
"The consensus reached was that there is need for a collective approach to raise professional standards. That this approach should facilitate education and information dissemination to improve the levels of awareness among reggae music industry practitioners regarding the requirements for professional business conduct inside North America," Stanbury said.
The seminar took place on June 20 during the annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in northern California.
Beverly 'Sista Irie' Shaw of KAZI FM 88.7 Austin Texas and Island Stage Magazine, David Baram, a New York-based entertainment attorney, singer-songwriter Bob Andy, and Warren Smith, CEO of the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, were Stanbury's co-panellists.
Jamaican artistes and dancehall/reggae promoters in the United States and Canada have clashed for many years on thorny issues such as no-shows (by artistes) and promoters failing to honour payments.
Several of these disputes have ended up in litigation.
Stanbury, who resides in Florida, says the panellists agreed that solutions to those issues should be addressed through seminars coordinated by industry players in North America and Jamaican state agencies.