Promoters call for reopeningThursday, May 06, 2021
BY KEDIESHA PERRY
CONCEPTUALISER of Uptown Mondays, Whitfield “Whitty” Henry says the Government should consider reopening the entertainment industry, once protocols are observed.
“Me a tell yuh straight up, mi nah manage. Every minute dem cut off mi light and water. Me and my promoter brethren dem haffi share everything. If me have a dollar, mi call a next one [promoter] and ask if him alright. We under house arrest right now and we cyaa pay we bills. The prime minister need fi give us a chance and say alright: 'Once people wear masks and sanitise dem can start make back a living,' ” he told the Jamaica Observer.
The industry was ordered suspended last year March, after Jamaica reported its first few cases of the novel coronavirus. Up to yesterday, there were 46,194 recorded cases with 794 fatalities. Of the total number, 21,779 have recovered.
Henry added that he believes a reopening would be a better response, instead of straining the Government's pockets to request grants.
“We nah look nuh handout. We willing fi work fi mek a living. Before [the pandemic] it [the problem] was the Noise Abatement Act, and now it's this curfew thing and we cyaa keep no party. The creative industry really a feel it,” said the principal of the 20-year-old party series.
Speaking in the House of Representatives in downtown Kingston on Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the extension of curfew measures until June 3.
He said, while some adjustments have been made, some imperatives remain the same. In that light, weekday curfews are to remain at 8:00 pm to 5:00 am while weekend curfews have been modified for the next four weeks.
“The curfew will now be at 6:00 pm on Saturdays and at 2:00 pm on Sundays and end at 5:00 am the following day,” Holness said.
He also said that for the Labour Day holiday, which will be observed on Monday, May 24, there will be an all-day curfew.
Henry is offering a word of encouragement to other affected promoters.
“All I can say is hold tight. It hard but we have to hold tight and know that we soon see the end of the rainbow. Some of them start sell out dem [music] equipment to survive…we just want to make some money,” he said.
Meanwhile, popular promoter/sound system selector Marlon “Boom Boom” Wizard is optimistic that the industry will reopen shortly.
“We ah go, go back outside July or end of June. Me feel like the prime minister ah go operate like last June when him give we the four-week trial fi see how parties operate,” he told the Observer.
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