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Easter weekend has become one of the most highly anticipated entertainment periods in Jamaica. The extended reprieve granted by Good Friday and Easter Monday sandwiching our standard days off became an excuse for thousands to head up to the north coast for a short, party-filled, springtime vacation. It is usually a time when cinemas would be sold out and theatres would have to add extra showings. And with carnival around the corner, this would have been the weekend revellers would be making costume pick-ups, alterations, and warming up their waistlines at the final few fetes before the bedazzling, feathered road parade.

But the tightened nationwide curfew assures that this Easter weekend will be the quietest the island has seen in a long time.

“Last Easter weekend did loud man. It was lit. Vibes from Ochi to Kingston, vibes and fun with friends and family. This weekend would have been the same,” DJ Brush 1, the self-stylised road marshal of Chromatic Sound, told The Gleaner.

“This weekend me would ah deh Ochi,” he continued, “for the Pon Di Plaza and the Aquaholics and all the events within vacay weekend.”

The Government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 reach deep into the weekend, with an adjustment of the national curfew schedule. Starting Friday, April 10, through Monday, April 13, the daily curfew will run from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m. On Tuesday, April 14, the curfew will end at 5 a.m., and recommence at 9 p.m. daily, until Tuesday, April 21.

Though not as loud as Brush 1’s vacay weekend, Councillor Andrew Bellamy’s Easter weekend usually served as a precursor for one of the busiest weeks of his year. “The weekend would serve multiple purposes for me,” Bellamy told The Gleaner. The St Andrew Eastern councillor is also chief executive officer of Xaymaca International, Sleek, a founding partner of I Love Soca and SunNation.

Along with a little rest and relaxation with his family, and attending one or two parties for additional destressing, Bellamy would spend some of this weekend checking in on the progress of Xaymaca Distribution, ironing out plans and doing last-minute preparations. “Normally, Easter weekend is always the calm before the storm,” he laughed.

For the theatre, Easter weekend filled the seats. “Back-to-back sold-out house,” Glen ‘Titus’ Campbell told The Gleaner. “Not only the regular theatre-going public that wants something to do, but there would be a lot of visitors,” he shared, recalling too, the accommodation of the older audience, with additional early shows on Easter Sunday and Monday.

“On Easter Monday, we’ve had to put on extra shows, so we’d have three – at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., especially with a good production,” the actor added. He guessed that might have been the case with Patrick Brown’s The Windscream Posse at Centerstage this weekend.

All in all, the entertainment industry is disappointed, but compliant and looking on the bright side. “It’s a loss, but we understand the circumstances,” Campbell said.

“This year, I’m embracing the blessing in disguise among all this crisis. I’m looking forward to spending even more time with my wife and kids and reminiscing on what I would normally be doing during this period. Most important, I will be re-evaluating various aspects of my life, how to improve them and my brands and businesses,” Bellamy added.

“We nuh need fi go outside. Party and all that can wait,” DJ Brush 1, the road marshal, said. For the foreseeable future, his plan is to “relax, practise social distancing, be responsible. We can party at a later date. Now is a time to be smart and do as the Government says, which is, stay inside.”

The original article can be found here.

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