Jamaica not yet ready for entertainment zones - Crawford
Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Despite the international appeal of locally-produced musical events such as the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, the government has no immediate plan to establish entertainment zones.
"A lot of calls are made without ample research," says State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford. "Zoning has some realities that don't make it possible at this time."
Crawford says, for example, an entertainment zone must be far away from houses, which demands specific infrastructure development.
The minister also believes that based on the fact that such projects normally create a demand for more housing solutions, a development order would be necessary.
"What we are trying to do is have Jamaica totally zoned for entertainment of different calibre, different activities and different realities,” continued Crawford.
"So for example, downtown Kingston would be based as a zone for commercial activity, but our research does not support musical entertainment for that area,” he said.
Crawford, who was at the 18th staging of Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival, said research has found that 67 per cent of events staged locally are not advertised or have booked venues.
He said the events are mainly street dances, which would not benefit from being moved far away from the communities - their main support base.
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