Teenager-targeted parties squeaky clean - No alcohol, no lewd lyrics
The classic saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is not particularly true for parents, especially those who are trying to find activities to keep headstrong teenagers occupied throughout the summer holiday. Outside of summer school and the various camps that provide safe environments for teenagers to socialise with their peers, there is no denying that there is usually an interest in the party lifestyle or nightlife.
In light of this, one party promoter is assuring parents that there are local events that cater to the needs of teenagers while taking into consideration the concerns of the parents or guardians who are responsible for them. David Moss-Solomon, director of Pardii Kidz, told The Gleaner that his organisation has been planning events targeted teenagers for over a decade. “The main concerns are always security and the offering. Our event is a strictly geared at high-school students, and we do not promote underage drinking,” he explained.
Pardii Kidz is known for staging events such as Foam Fête, Colour Coded (a J’ouvert-themed event), the water party Summer Splash and Club Summer, held usually in July. The food and non-alcoholic drink-inclusive Summer Splash, the organisation’s second biggest party, which generally attracts teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16 years, will be held for a third line this Saturday, June 29, under the theme ‘Disturbing the Peace’ at Campion College.
“It is a challenge to determine an individual’s age, but we do encourage persons to walk with some form of identification. Even a school ID helps, but there are some schools that don’t issue ID cards. But I guarantee that our security is vigilant and always questions characters who seem out of place,” he said. “While our main tagline is ‘a pardii is as good as you make it’, we also go by the maxim ‘providing safe, secure and fun entertainment’. We have operated incident-free and have managed to do so because we also try to keep our event goers in a contained area when the event ends (usually around midnight) until a parent/guardian has come for them.”
There have been cases where several teenagers attend but have no means of transportation, he says, but security has escorted patrons to get public transportation before, and the coordinators have made it their duty to leave no person behind.
Parent hotlines have also been established, he said: “This is to encourage parents to make contact with us so that we can sensitise them about the event concept and provide as much information as needed.”
Another teenager-targeted event, End A Term, hosted by Ultra Entertainment JA, is scheduled for the following week on Friday, July 5, on the grounds of the National Stadium. The promoters have advertised it as the “official all schools close off” must-attend event.
“It is solely marketed to individuals between the ages of 12 and 19 years because we know, as young adults in high school, we had wanted to get a feel of what the nightlife experience was like,” said Andre Barnaby, one of the event organisers. “The teenage party is not bad at all, but sometimes these events don’t get the best feedback once the word ‘party’ is involved. But it is a means for them to not only socialise and gain experience but learn responsibility as they ring in the summer on a high note with clean entertainment in the form of both live entertainment and music provided by disc jockeys.”
Disc jockeys DJ Antsman, Laing D, Brush One of Chromatic, and Pantason Movement will be in charge of the musical selections while artiste Hot Frass has been invited to perform. The Ravers Clavers will also be on the floor demonstrating some of their dance moves and interacting with the teenage patrons.
Barnaby also stated that the ground rules have already been laid out to the entertainers. “Simply put, no explicit content, and zero tolerance of lewd behaviour. And our armed, unarmed and canine-equipped security will be on hand to provide the necessary protection,” he said.
When asked if parents were allowed to chaperone their children, he revealed that they had not factored in parents attending, but he pointed out that special accommodations include an ultra classy VIP area where adults could stay in comfort while the party carries on. The event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. The organisers said that they have also received support from the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).
The End A Term promoter has urged parents to send their teenagers out to socialise but has advised them not to be afraid to question every component; not just the cost of the ticket and spending money, but the time and place of the event, and also to provide the needed guidance and transportation.
Speaking on the matter of transportation, Cecil Thoms, JUTC’s corporate communications manager, told The Gleaner, “Transport is always a matter of concern, and for that reason, the JUTC has agreed to provide after-service travel to those attending the event.”
Noting the issue of children being reported missing he said, “From time to time, you will find an area filled with young people who have not arranged transportation with a responsible adult or are unable to source transport to their various destinations after an evening of having fun. And one must be able to travel to and from safely, especially in a time where there are uncertainties about abduction.
“If I am relating a message, it would be [that] parents ought not to be unduly concerned as we are here in the corporate area and our drivers will be on the grounds to take the young event-goers to convenient locations”.