The Government isn’t trying to stifle culture, says PM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The clampdown on entertainment events that are in breach of the Noise Abatement Act has been a hot topic since last week, and Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressed the issue on Sunday.

Holness brought up the matter during a ceremony to rename the Gordon Town Square in honour of late cultural ambassador, Dr the Hon Louise Bennett-Coverley, affectionately known as ‘Miss Lou’.

“It could never be the intention of the Government in any way to stifle the culture which is necessary for the development of our people,” Holness said.

“I still have to deal with the nurse who comes to me and say I work at KPH (Kingston Public Hospital), and I cannot sleep.”

He then said that Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has been working on developing entertainment zones in the Corporate Area to facilitate the culture.

“I still have to deal with the nurse who comes to me and say I work at KPH, and I cannot sleep.”

— Holness

The ‘Stop Fight Events’ and ‘No Music, No Vote’ campaigns started last week after a number of events were shut down earlier than usual. Promoters of several weekly events were also told that their parties had to end at midnight. Similarly, events on the weekends are expected to end by 2 a.m., in keeping with the Noise Abatement Act.

As part of the campaigns, the promoters and other music stakeholders have met with the police to arrive at a resolution.

However, selector Foota Hype believes the approach being taken by the entertainment industry is not ideal.

“Everybody weh a orchestrate dem meeting yah, stop it. We have issues to prepare amongst ourselves before we go meeting wid politician,” he said.

Written by Shania Hanchard