Residents of Lluidas Vale in St Catherine have been challenged to start a massive shift in Dancehall culture, considering the 11PM lock-off time for events under the ongoing state of public emergency in the parish.
The shift would see parties starting at sunset, said some residents who attended a community meeting, hosted on November 18 at Lluidas Vale Primary School by Sergeant Oliver Johnson of Shady Grove Police Station.
Prior to the state of emergency that commenced on September 5, parties in Lluidas Vale usually get into full swing about 1 o’clock in the morning.
“The culture can change so that you can start the parties at 4PM or 5PM,” said Uvelyn Barrett-Rose, who is also Principal at Lluidas Vale Primary School.
“Some people come from work, they can just bathe and eat and go to the round robin… It takes everybody to change culture, but culture can change,” Barrett-Rose further noted during the meeting.
Patsy English, who heads the Sunday Sip promotion group, stated that, since the imposition of the state of emergency, her members have been hosting their parties early and have found the 11PM cut-off time workable.
She however explained that a lot of discipline is required to successfully pull off an early party.
“If persons who are in the organization come out at 6 o’clock [in the evening], then we will have a good time from six until 11PM. That is fair enough for a dance right now,” she told The Beacon. “It can work, but we just have to be disciplined and organized. I am disciplined enough and my organization – Sunday Sip – is disciplined enough. We are well organized.”
Another resident, Tatrice Cato, is adamant that the early-party culture can thrive now, adding that it was successful in the past.
“I remember when I used to go to every dance in Lluidas Vale, Point Hill and Clarendon, dance started 7 o’clock [in the evening], and dance used to done by 2 o’clock [in the morning],” she told the gathering.
“People used to make money because, as far as I am concerned, if your party is well promoted, and if you have your people to support you, your party supposed to make money by 11 o’clock [in the night] – and I used to have some good party times,” Cato added.
The idea of reverting to the days of early partying did not go unchallenged.
A regular party goer, Derron Jones, better known as Micky, claimed that, under the current state of emergency – for example, party promoters have been losing big bucks because they have to end their events at 11PM.
“People throw their hard-working money to make back a money,” Jones noted, adding that prospective patrons are usually busy on the job or doing other activities at sundown, and so will not be able to attend parties early.
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