Reopen entertainment says JAMMS, JACAPSunday, June 13, 2021
The two local music rights societies, Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS) and Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP), have added their voices to the call for the reopening of the local entertainment sector.
Both groups note that they are strongly advocating a reopening of the sector which has been dormant for the past 15 months resulting in an almost wipeout of the income of a wide range of players in the cultural and creative industries.
The societies are calling for an organised, unbiased, and safe reopening of the industry, while cognisant of Government's need to appease stakeholders and balance lives while managing the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the groups state that, based on the input of already submitted proposals by industry groups and other interests, as well as the ongoing consultations, they are convinced that a win-win solution can be achieved.
The goal is to minimise the risk of potential spread of the novel coronavirus from entertainment activities while jump-starting the entire sector, which, from all accounts, is currently on life support.
The industry bodies believe there are no longer any valid reasons a reopening cannot take place with implementation and enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, and highlighted that safe reopening of the entertainment sector has been taking place in other jurisdictions. They argue that, for Jamaica, the signals are strong, with low positivity and hospitalisation rates, and the imminent receipt by the country of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Other sectors and industries, most notably the tourism sector, have benefited from the policy of 'balancing lives and livelihoods'. This approach needs to also be applied to the entertainment sector,” said general manager of JAMMS, Evon Mullings.
He emphasised that opening the sector would be a catalyst for economic activity across a very massive ecosystem which hinges heavily on music and entertainment as its driver.
Despite protracted hesitance by the Government, Mullings is confident that sufficient measures can be identified and implemented for a safe reopening.
According to JACAP's General Manager Lydia Rose, the societies have suffered close to a 50 per cent fall-off in revenues, directly resulting from the lockdown of the sector and other economic interruptions.
“This has had a tremendous negative impact on members who earn a significant part of their income from the societies, as well as from live performances and touring. Despite the submission of proposals from industry groups and interest groups, more than a year has elapsed without any indication of when enhanced measures will be approved for safe resumption of economic activities that support the lives of tens of thousands of people. A structured step-by-step process from application to host an event to approval of the event must be identified and published,” said Rose.
Given what is at stake, the music societies give their full commitment to working with all stakeholders for a full recovery and sustainability of the sector and encourage their members and all players in the sector to observe the stated protocols to ensure that the reopening of the sector will not be compromised.
Both collecting societies combined account for approximately 6,000 music industry practitioners, the largest organised grouping of music and entertainment industry players in Jamaica. The Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP) represents composers, authors and music publishers, whilst the Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS) represents record producers and performers.
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