|Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley (FP)??|
The requirements which must be met by promoters who are interested in staging public entertainment events, in particular fetes, in Barbados are not new.
This was made clear by Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, at a press conference yesterday, during which he discussed the challenges which some promoters were experiencing recently in obtaining permission to host their events.
Speaking to the media from the HIV/AIDS Commission’s Conference Room at Warrens Office Complex, Minister Lashley stated that the requirements were listed in the Entertainment Act which was enacted since 1985.
He pointed out that the conditions were established to ensure the public’s safety, and noted that there was a need to "look at the Act and to make some determination to ensure that the system which informs the legislation allows for the kind of interaction, so that persons can be aware [of it]."
The Culture Minister added that it was compulsory for promoters to submit their applications early, and appealed to them to "get the information in on time" so that it could be processed.
He confirmed that following a meeting last Friday which included representatives from the Town and Country Planning Department and the VAT Office, those promoters, who were experiencing difficulty in obtaining the necessary licences, had subsequently met the requirements, and were then granted permission to host their events.
"With the growth of Crop Over, we are seeing an increase in the number of fetes being held during the season, and this augurs well certainly for the ability of the festival to generate revenue for our promoters," Minister Lashley said.
He stressed that the intention was not to prevent persons from holding fetes, and reaffirmed the Ministry’s eagerness to assist promoters.
"…The promoters have agreed that they will form themselves into an association, which I certainly welcome. I believe that once the promoters can come together as a group with the purpose of working along with the various agencies of government, then, together we can try to iron out whatever issues there are; and, also agree to the extent that they will make recommendations to the government on how we can improve the current system on how entertainment licences are issued," Mr. Lashley stated.
Deputy Chief Town Planner, George Browne, was also in attendance and confirmed that during the period May to July this year, 26 applications had been submitted requesting permission to stage fetes across the island. He disclosed that of that number, 18 were approved, two were rejected and six were currently being assessed.