Several promoters have told Barbados TODAY they are happy about the ease in the restrictions to hold events but insisted that they intend to follow the Government’s guidelines and protocols.
Peter McBride’s, co-owner of McBride’s Music Pub and Night Club St Lawrence Gap, said that within minutes of Prime Minister Mia Mottley announcing on Thursday night that permission may be given for events of 250 people or less, the club’s management started putting measures in place to sign off on a number of planned events for the coming weeks.
McBride said the first event will be a soca rush highlighting local soca artiste next week.
He said: “It is great. It came as a surprise but the moment the cat was let out of the box it took us 15 minutes to line up ten events and they are all being produced starting next week Wednesday with local soca artistes and live bands and the whole nine yards.
“We had a blueprint for events which we had to scrap because of COVID so we pulled the exact events that we are reactivating now. We are trying to bring the local artistes who can’t perform at Crop Over fetes right now into the scene in the club and give them the opportunity to also make some money.”
McBride said after losing thousands in revenue and facing the reality of putting employees on the breadline, it is a good feeling to finally be able to have money coming in again to pay expenses and rehire staff who would not have worked since March 18 when the last event was held.
He added: “We can safely say that we have lost a quarter of the annual revenue because it was three, four months out of a full year we were closed. So 25 per cent of the total annual revenue would have been lost to COVID.
“And now, we are still in a situation where we are not 100 per cent back up because we cater to locals and to tourists. We are in a situation where we have to try to make up for the losses. But we are grateful for anything we can do right now though it is going to be tough.”
President of the Barbados Calypsonians and Artistes (BACA), Sean Apache Carter, said that although he has trouble picturing fete-goers wearing masks and practising social distancing, he believes that the decision to allow events to take place is a move in the right direction.
He said the move means that Barbados is getting back to the new normal and indicated that he would be having further discussions with BACA’s executive and eventually the general membership.
“We are going to discuss the way forward in light of everything that has happened and where we are at right now,” Carter said.
Veteran impresario Merle Niles said that while the move to allow the resumption of events is good news, members of the entertainment industry are expected to have discussions on the way forward for the sector which was hit hard by the pandemic.
Niles said she is in the process of planning a month of entertainment activities and noted that more information on the events will be announced shortly.
She said: “We heard what the Prime Minister said and we will among ourselves discuss the next step. Where would we go from here? It has to be financially feasible if we are going to do something like that.
“We still have to look at how we are going to protect people, entertain them and still think social distancing at a certain level. There are certain things to consider and sort out and that is why we have to meet about it. Where it would be beneficial but safe to have an event with the patrons that we must have.”
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