'Live music venues coming'

Monday, January 22, 2018

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FOLLOWING the national outcry over traffic congestion caused by the Sandz beach party on New Year's Day along the Palisadoes strip in Kingston, Minister of Sports, Culture, Entertainment and Gender Affairs Olivia Grange, says more entertainment zones and more live music venues will be launched this year.

Grange made this disclosure to the Jamaica Observer on Saturday at the album launch of reggae singer Spiritual held at Pulse8 on Trafalgar Road in St Andrew.

“We have plans to put infrastructure in place both for sports and culture. We will have a state of the art performing centre in Kingston, and multi-purpose facilities across the island where we can have open air events, sporting activities, and of course, we are establishing our entertainment zones for major events,” said Grange.

“With these facilities coming on stream, we will not have an issue with noise abatement nor traffic congestion. We are going to be rolling out our entertainment zones at least one or two this year and continue as we go forward across the island,” she continued.

She did not give any definitive dates or where these venues will be erected.

Three weeks ago, the staging of Sandz at 7th Harbour in Kingston resulted in a traffic pile-up along the corridor which leads to and from Norman Manley International Airport. The traffic backed up all the way to Rockfort. Motorists also created several lanes, which contributed to congestion.

The pile-up caused severe inconvenience to people arriving as well as those departing the island. Passengers who had arrived on incoming flights had to wait for hours to be picked up, while those booked for outgoing flights got out of cars trapped in the gridlock and began walking with their luggage in hand towards the airport.

The party promoters subsequently issued an apology and cited “non-cooperation of the patrons with the parking arrangements” as the cause for the mayhem.

Jamaica music industry figures have been calling for improved live show venues from many years. Some say National Arena in St Andrew and nearby National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew do not have the appropriate acoustics to host major events.

The Multi-Purpose Stadium in Trelawny, built by the government for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, has been rarely used. It hosted the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival for a time but has not been utilised for major events since that show was last held in 2015.




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