Fri | May 29, 2020

Kanye got emergency licence for Sunday Service, says mayor

Published:Wednesday | October 23, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir at Emancipation Park in St Andrew last Friday.

Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams has indicated that due process was followed to allow American artiste Kanye West and his 120-strong gospel choir the right to stage last Friday’s Sunday Service concert at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.

Pointing out that the Sunday Service concert would have helped to position Kingston as an international city, Williams said West’s team was issued a $15,000 emergency licence to execute the event.

“We felt that it was worth giving approval in keeping with the law that states the mayor, under the Places of Amusement Licence Regulations, can approve an emergency licence for an event of that nature,” said Williams, who chairs the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).

He said the nod was given only after careful consideration and checks to guarantee the safety of persons at the event.

“We even asked our engineers to be on-site to supervise the set-up, including the construction of the stage area. So, yes, the KSAMC gave its approval to Kanye West’s team for the concert,” Williams said. “We felt that we could do so after the town clerk, Robert Hill, met with the Jamaica Constabulary Force [and] the National Works Agency and we were assured that traffic-control [measures were] in place.”

Turning to the copyright fiasco triggered by Sunday Service merchandise appearing online for sale with the City of Kingston logo and other national symbols and emblems, the mayor said he has left the matter in the hands of Culture Minister Olivia Grange.

On the weekend, West’s team complied with an order from Grange to pull the Jamaica-branded shirts, which were being sold for up to US$200, from the online store.

Apart from the City of Kingston logo, some of the shirts carried images of the hummingbird, the Jamaican flag and the coat of arms.