Industry professional describes ‘chilling’ effect of Department of Health denial events
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – YBE Promotions founder Dwight Dean Sr said yesterday that event organizers need a standardized application process for hosting social events in the Bahamas to ensure fairness for the sector that has been largely shut out of the economy amid the ongoing pandemic.
Dean said the public was unaware of the background work, due diligence and cost of an event long before approval could be sought from the Department of Health.
Regattas, annual food festival, all those annual events that people look forward to – promoters, organizers, vendors, everyone is disenfranchised at this point.
– Dwight Dean Sr, event organizer
He said thousands or tens of thousands of dollars can be spent booking an artist for 50% upfront, getting musicians union approval with a contract in hand, getting immigration approval for overseas talent, obtain and pay a deposit on a site, have the site inspected, and obtain an approval letter from the Department of Environmental Health.
He said it is a gamble to organize an event and for some their livelihoods are at stake.
“Regates, annual food festival, all these annual events that people look forward to – promoters, organizers, vendors, everyone is disenfranchised at this point,” Dean said. Eye-witness News.
“It’s a bet. We take a bet. If you look around the world, once people get vaccinated, get disinfected, wear a mask, get tested, get their boosters, they’re pretty much fine.
The world is moving forward; it moves. Events unfold with thousands of people.
“The world is moving forward; it moves.
“Events are happening with thousands of people and they want to limit us to 100 people.
“Nothing is profitable at 100 people, and I think with these new rules there is a fine of up to $300 per person if you exceed the number.
“I don’t want to be fined and my clients don’t want to be fined.”
This week, Health Minister Dr. Michael Darville said while the Bahamas is in a much better position with COVID, the government is not yet willing to allow larger concerts and social events.
Several events are announced for the next few weeks in the Bahamas, but it is not known if they have been approved by the Ministry of Health.
Guidance Presents Shenseea Live in Concert is scheduled for March 19 at the National Stadium Carnival Grounds, though health officials said they were “not aware” of the event.
The Dexta Daps concerts that were scheduled earlier this month were both refused by the Ministry of Health.
Dean said easing restrictions on social gatherings this week to allow 100 people to go out “goes in the right direction”, but is still not the answer to a process that seems to vary by person.
“I hope people who plan events know this beforehand, because you should learn from other people’s mistakes,” he said.
“Learn from Dexta Daps. If you are going to do Shenseea, I hope they retain what is needed to run the event.
“What’s also happening is customers are losing faith in events, so that’s going to be reflected in advance ticket sales, advance ticket sales and skyboxes.
“Selling tickets early and planning ahead helps you know what to invest in for the event.
“It has a paralyzing effect.”