Thu | Dec 12, 2019

'It is a joke' - Mutabaruka laments absence of entertainment centre

Published:Saturday | October 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

"How is it so difficult for the Government of Jamaica to build a place that is adequate to present reggae music as how it is supposed to be presented?" That is the question being asked by Mutabaruka, noted dub poet, musician and social commentator. Speaking on Thursday at the launch of A St Mary Mi Come From: Come A Town, which takes place on November 10 at the National Arena, Mutabaruka said the venue 'was not made for stage shows'.

"The acoustic is terrible," said Mutabaruka.

He noted that the National Arena, similar to the National Indoor Sports Centre, the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium, the Sligoville Stadium and Sabina Park were built for sports. He slammed successive governments for failing to build an entertainment facility.

"It is time to think about reggae music like the sports, not that me jealous of sports it put us out there too but Jamaica is known for music, you cannot emphasise that too much," Mutabaruka said.

He said that many of the island's visitors are coming with the idea in mind that there are places established specifically for music.


Not designed for entertainment


Several party promoters have been using major sporting venues to host entertainment events. Mutabaruka said that the fact that the venues were not designed for entertainment events lead to an unnecessary burden being borne by the consumers.

"A promoter planning fi keep a show have to carry lights, sound and stage, which boosts up the money. People ask why a man a charge so much and they don't know wah gwaan behind the scene to put on the show," he said.

The poet/musician outlined that a complete music centre should be properly equipped to accommodate stage show or party-type events, and have supplementary architecture to help with soundproofing so that residents of neighbouring communities do not feel it necessary to make reports of disturbances from noise. Furthermore, to live up to UNESCO's designation as a creative city, Mutabaruka said Kingston must have a dedicated entertainment centre.

"Any musician can vouch ... In their travels to perform when we go in a stadium or theatres overseas, like Carnegie Hall in New York, dem have stable sound system and lighting as well as air conditioning and bathrooms. Jamaica does not have anywhere like that. It is a joke," Mutabaruka said.

"It has been discussed in the past, nothing has been done. Meanwhile the music ah project itself outward," he said.

"I don't know about Capleton but me feel a way. I and I call up on the people who responsible, the Government and the artistes, to be more active, to project them voice that Jamaica need a place to present the music the way it is supposed to be presented, in a setting conducive to comfort," he said.

"Likkle more from now Capleton can't jump up and down like him do, and him going want to perform and look at the audience in a nice place with red carpet and red chairs where patrons line up fi come in and sit down to watch," he added.