Starting this week, event promoters will be issued a one-stop entertainment licence from the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).
With six weeks of the Crop Over festival remaining, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, publicly apologised to the Crop Over promoters for the delay and hurdles they faced while obtaining licences for the season. This bottleneck has resulted in the postponing of some events.
Mottley was delivering the feature address at the renaming ceremony of the Spring Garden Highway to the Mighty Grynner Highway, when she declared that the 34 year old Public Entertainment Act will be reviewed. She disclosed that she met with the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA), and it was agreed that the NCF would issue a one-stop licence for the rest of the Crop Over season.
The Public Entertainment Act states:
“A person desiring to keep a place of entertainment must apply to the comptroller in the approved form and produce at the time of application, the following documents: a certificate from the Chief Town Planner that the applicant has obtained planning permission in respect of the premises and the activities intended to be held thereon and a certificate from the Commission of Police that the applicant has obtained planning permission in respect of the premises and the activities intended to be held thereon. The applicant must also produce a certificate from the Commissioner of Police that he/she is a fit and proper person to keep a place of public entertainment and a certificate from the Chief Fire Officer that the premises are provided with sufficient fire exists in relation to the number of persons who are to be accommodated therein.”
Prime Minister Mottley emphasized that urgent review of the Act was necessary.
“I don’t believe that you should have to go through hell in this country to be able to do a simple thing as to help us celebrate this festival.” (KK)