Chang calls for more nightclubs

December 12, 2019

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang has called on business persons to build more clubs and retrofit old warehouse spaces to host entertainment events.

Under the Noise Abatement Act, clubs are permitted to operate until 4 a.m. However, open-air events are restricted to 12 a.m. shut-off time during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to extend the shut-off time to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends during the holiday season.

Chang said that the Government would undertake a comprehensive review of the 1997 law next year.

The review will include looking at the shut-off time for events as well as considering sound-level restrictions. Under the current law, sounds should not be heard beyond a distance of 100 metres from source.

INVEST IN SOUND TECHNOLOGY

The minister said that sound system operators should hire sound technicians and invest in technology to ensure the sound from their events does not become a nuisance to others. At the same time, he said persons should seek to return entertainment events to indoor facilities.

"We need to see a return of persons in entertainment investing in clubs," the minister said. "The one and two clubs now around operates on a different basis. Patrons are going to the clubs in the evenings to have dinner, gamble and stay until midnight, down [to] Ribbiz, and then come uptown and wake up everybody. That is not acceptable.

"As we look towards a fulsome review of the Noise Abatement Act, I urge event organisers, industry leaders and practitioners to consider reverting to the model of indoor entertainment as happens in many international venues," Chang said.

The minister noted that many of the events to which Jamaicans travel to perform overseas take place in clubs, some of which are retrofitted warehouses.

"We need some of that in Jamaica. The big business people in Jamaica must invest in the business. We need to see more people investing in clubs," Chang said.