Two hours more to party - Promoters wish for a relaxed Noise Abatement Act
With the busy summer entertainment season approaching, party promoters with whom The STAR spoke said that they are wishing for an extension of the current weekend 2 a.m. lock-off time, as stipulated under the Noise Abatement Act of 1997.
The Act came back on the public agenda again last Sunday, after the Dub Club event along Skyline Drive, Jack's Hill, was closed down and two selectors charged. In a statement, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, said "The amendment legislation to the Noise Abatement Act is on the agenda. It is a matter that my ministry and I, have been in consultation with the Ministry of National Security to see how we can quickly advance the necessary amendment to avoid instances like this."
Ahead of that decision, two more hours is what promoters are asking for and would not mind submitting an application weeks or even months in advance to get it.
Gyete Ghartey, promoter of Mello Vibes and Yesterday, told The STAR he understands that changes to the Noise Abatement Act will not happen overnight, but believes in the interim, the powers can make special arrangements for some events as the 2 a.m. lock-off time is bad for business. "4 a.m. is a good lock-off time and I would really only encourage the extension on a weekend. I understand that we can't really push it on nights during the week because a lot of people have work but on the weekend we can make some arrangements," he said.
"I definitely would do it (apply for an extension) if they allowed us to. In fact, years ago, I think they had tried that and I had received it one time. I think they were just trying something when they did that because it didn't last long, but I wouldn't mind if they would try that again."
Romaine 'Luigi' Brown, whose events include Image and Allure, said even though the decision on an extension would be left up to the relevant authorities, being given the opportunity to at least apply would send the right message to promoters. "The regulatory body would need to set the measures based on the type of event and the patronage expected," he said. "The events that have satisfactory security, policing and valid safety measures in place, such as an ambulance on site, can be considered for an extension. If the event is in an area where it's not affecting communities, then there should be some exemption for that event."
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport's director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications, Oliver Watt, said there isn't much it can do, as the Ministry of National Security has the lead in amending the legislation.
"I know our technocrats, our lawyers and our senior director of entertainment and so on have been having discussions with the other ministries who are involved with making the necessary adjustments," Watt said.