Promoters feed off cake sales
As small promoters continue to feel the financial pressure from hosting parties and other entertainment events, some are opting for cake sales, which they say are lighter on their pockets.
"Cake sales and drink outs are really the way to go, as this type of business can be done from inside the home and no permit is needed. Unlike a dance, you can predict your profit most of the times, as cake sales are done through ticket sales. It's a growing business. A lot of persons are latching on to it, and a cake sale can also be done like a round robin. One difference is that cakes are sold instead of liquor," promoter Miggale Grant said.
According to Grant, cake sales are usually done between midday and 9 p.m.
"It is good for someone who has a bar as this can be done within its opening hours. Of course, the players of music should be compensated for their work, but this amount is hard to find. We small promoters just want to earn an honest dollar. We would like the relevant authorities to review the fees for dances because in reality, entertainment makes up a large portion of the country's revenues," he said.
In addition to paying Jamaica Music Society and the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers, a fee must be paid to the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation before an event promoter can get a licence to host a party. All three fees can sometimes total $15,000
Cakes are usually sold by the slice and accompanied by a bottle of water or small cup of ice cream. The sale is not limited to cake, but other sweet treats such as pudding, pizza, cookies, and donuts are allowed.
"They are cut into reasonable slices, so one cake can give you anywhere from eight to 10 slices. So if you sell 100 tickets at $500 per slice, you can easily make $50,000 from your home in addition to the round robin money that you collect," he explained.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Fitzroy Benjamin, who said that cookouts and fish fries are events of the past.
"The permits are really wicked on the pockets. Cookouts are too expensive and stressful. It's not like we don't want to host regular parties, but we have seen our way out. There are times when people see us playing host and think we are making a reasonable profit, but we are not. Times are hard," he said.