Artistes urged to be smart when taking bookings
After being grounded for several months, a handful of local entertainers are hitting the road once more, performing to sold-out audiences at events across the US.
Over the past few months, artistes including Shenseea, Spice, Shaneil Muir, Dexta Daps and Macka Diamond have all posted snippets of their performances.
But with the mandatory 14-day period of quarantine still in effect for when they return to the island, entertainers are being urged to be smart with their bookings so they can not only maximise on their away time but also uphold the law.
Speaking with THE STAR, public relations specialist, Janice Young, said that if there was ever a time to 'milk overseas opportunities', it would be now.
"I would therefore advise artistes and booking agents to secure a cluster of shows as opposed to travelling back and forth," she said. "The US has events happening, parties, stage shows, concerts, and so our artistes are capitalising on that. But I want them to do so wisely. What I have done for the artistes that I work with is to have them book a series of shows. It is better to stay in the US for a period of time, two weeks, a month etc, so that you don't run into consistent quarantine issues," she said. Young does bookings for Macka Diamond, Yanique 'Curvy Diva' Barrett and Twani Price.
Creative director and brand manager of Bling Blang productions, Sasha Bling, who manages Shaneil Muir and handles the majority of bookings for I-Octane, says the 'cluster approach' is something she has been practising for the last few months.
"Even when everybody was grounded, Octane and Shaneil were doing shows over here and so we have been doing this sort of thing. Shaneil lives over here and Octane has his work permit which allows him to stay in the country for extended periods, so they do not have to travel back and forth to Jamaica," she said. "But they at some point have to go for business etc, and we don't want the 14-day quarantine period to interrupt our schedule and so we have been booking our events in groups. It's just the reality of the industry right now. And you know what? Promoters are actually working with us."
But Bling and Young both stressed the need for entertainers to adhere to the safety protocols and quarantine guidelines once they do return to Jamaica, especially after travelling to places that are considered high-risk.
"It's the least they can do when they get back. We affi do weh we affi do and provide for our families but we have to take the right precautions not just for our safety but for the safety of everyone else," said Bling. "When yuh come home, stay a yuh yaad, work out your schedule for the next set of performances and re-energise yourself."
Young added, "Do out your time in quarantine and when that's done, do your tests and get moving again. On to the next set of performances you have lined up, but do so knowing you never broke any laws or endangered any lives."