Gov't gives promoters Xmas reprieve

Observer writer

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Popular promoter/sound system selector Marlon “Boom Boom” Wizard says temporary amendments to the Noise Abatement Act that were approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, is not only a Christmas gift for promoters, but for poor people.

“This is a gift for everybody; not just promoters. It's a gift for the poor people who make a living off dancehall so everybody really grateful,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The Noise Abatement Act of 1997 stipulates that events held during the week, would have a cut off time of midnight, and 2:00 am on weekends. However, a Bill entitled An Act to temporarily amend the Noise Abatement Act, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, said until January 31, 2020, stipulates that weekday events must end at 2:00 am, while weekend events can go until 4:00 am.

Wizard said the amendment came as no surprise to him and his colleagues, who are promoting events for the festive season.

“We have a close relationship with Floyd Green [Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture], Babsy Grange [Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports] and Horace Chang, so we did expect this. Since everybody hear di time jus' start get busy…all who never put out flyer, start put out flyer now. Wi really lift off wi hand to Dr Chang,” he added.

Wizard is promoter of the popular Boom Sundays dance in Grants Pen, Kingston.

Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams has, however, cautioned promoters that they will not be allowed to overuse any venue. He was speaking at a press conference yesterday at Jamaica House.

“From the KSAC [Kingston and St Andrew Corporation] standpoint, we'll be scrutinising the events. We're saying to promoters, seek your approval for your licence because we'll be very strict in terms of the number of events we approve for the various venues across the municipality. We will not be approving 10 and 12 events for one venue; especially if that venue is in the vicinity of the residential area. That's part of our responsibility at the municipality. We will have to look seriously at the frequency of events at any one venue,” he warned.

The No Music, No Vote campaign, initiated by event promoters and sound system operators last summer, had a long journey before it got to this point. For approximately three months, corporate promoters held a series of meetings with Williams, Grange, Chang and Assistant Commissioner of Police Kevin Blake, to try and resolve the issue of what the promoters described as “premature” endings to their events.

Speaking at the launch of Reggae Month 2020 last Tuesday, Grange announced that renovation has commenced at Fort Rocky, which will be the first of seveal entertainment zones.

Wizard says while he is grateful for the Government's considerations, he does not consider the temporary amendment a victory.

“It's a move towards what we want. I wouldn't say it's a victory; we're just a step ahead and we know this is going to take a little time,” he said.

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