Sterling Gospel Music Awards postponed, organisers committed to public safety

The Sterling Gospel Music Awards (SGMA) joins the growing list of events which are postponing due to the coronavirus outbreak, which had its first reported case in Jamaica this week.

Awardees from the 2019 staging of the Sterling Gospel Music Awards

The fourth staging of the award ceremony, which recognises players in the gospel community, was scheduled for March 14 at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston. The show has been postponed until further notice, a decision founder and director Basillia Barnaby-Cuff said was both difficult and easy to make.

Sterling Gospel Music Awards founder and director Basillia Barnaby-Cuff at the 2019 staging of the event. (Photo: Facebook— Founder and Director Basillia Barnaby-Cuff)

“This is all happening 3 days before the show,” she told BUZZ. “All the plans were put in place, logistics solidified, payments made, promotions in high gear…all aimed at a seamless roll out on Saturday. It has been an intense almost 12 months of planning and coordinating all the necessary logistics.

“Even though we will suffer losses, especially where promotions are concerned, we are confident that this is the absolutely best move for everyone involved.”

“We continue to pray and stay vigilant, while encouraging the public to do the same.”

— Barnaby-Cuff

She added that it is important for the organisation to play its role in mitigating the spread of the virus, in light of Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ press briefing yesterday, where he announced the ban of social gatherings over the next 14 days.

“We know that this is the wise thing to do in the interest of the public, and thankfully our sponsors were supportive of the decision without hesitation,” said Barnaby-Cuff. “Guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, we wanted to ensure that we played our part in not putting the public at risk.”

Pending the new date, she urged patrons to retain their tickets.

“All tickets purchased from our certified locations (York Pharmacy, online: www.spurropen.com and Zan’s Fabric in Mandeville), remain valid for the new date which will be announced as soon as this becomes possible,” she said. “In the meantime, we continue to pray and stay vigilant, while encouraging the public to do the same, via our social media pages.”