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OPEN LETTER: "The hot potato that nobody in Government wishes to take a hold of"

OPEN LETTER:

Thursday 22 July 2021

OPEN LETTER: "The hot potato that nobody in Government wishes to take a hold of"


Members of the nightclub and events industry have urgently called on Ministers to share the next steps with them after Jersey's heavily delayed 'Freedom Day' was pushed back further until next month.

The Event, Entertainment & Nightclub Stakeholders Group had this to say...

Dear Ministers,

I hope you are well. I write on behalf of the Event, Entertainment & Nightclub Stakeholders Group, which has seen our industry effectively closed down since March 2020 due to the restrictions imposed on events and live entertainment by the Government of Jersey.

Firstly, we all appreciate the need to keep the public safe, but the final restrictions in stage 7 of the Reconnection Roadmap have now been delayed four times in four weeks and this continues to have a devastating impact on the industry. Whilst there have been some events taking place in recent months, this is not a true reflection on the state of the Industry.

I do not want to speak for everyone in the group, but many of us have received significant levels of cancellations over the past four weeks as a result of the continued delays to the final restrictions. It started with the UK going on the red list, which meant many guests couldn't travel to Jersey, then there are events that won't go ahead because of the restrictions yet to be relaxed, events that won't go ahead because of the rule of 20, then there were events being cancelled through the fear of being tracked & traced and now events being cancelled because people don't want to attend in the fear of catching covid with the high level of cases.

As you can see, these are just a few examples to highlight what we are against. You would be genuinely horrified if you knew just how much money our Industry has lost in the past four weeks to cancellations on the back of the delays. (not to mention the amount of the past 16 months).

 In relation to the covid- 19 situation in Jersey, we would very much appreciate responses to the following questions to help our Industry understand the Islands strategy on getting our industry back to work:

  • 1) In February 2021 it was suggested to you that you set a number relating to the maximum number of people that would be able to attend an event in 2021. Why did you not take this route which meant the Industry could plan for the future knowing what the limit was, rather than the situation we are in now where we have no idea what this number will be in the weeks ahead.

  • 2) Can you provide us with a realistic timeline for the relaxation of the final stages of reconnection, in particularly the return of large events, festivals, dancing and standing drinking and the reasoning behind the decisions to delay despite our ability as professionals to be designated event leads, complete risk assessments and manage these events in line with all safety measures?

  • 3) Further to the above question, what criteria do you need to meet in order to get to the final stages of relaxation? Ie vaccination numbers, number of cases, number of people in hospital, etc.

  • 4) Can you please advise why an indoor event for 100's of guests can take place vs a private event at someone's home for 20 people that is not allowed to take place and why we are not allowed to professionally organise an event for more than 20 people at someone's home?

  • 5) Based on the current situation and the vaccination program, do you have a time frame on when you think we could be trading again without restriction to levels of that to pre- covid- 19?

  • 6) Why has there been little to no consultation with our Industry, particularly us as business owners who ultimately make our livelihoods from the Industry and are at the heart and soul of the Industry?

As someone described to me recently, the events industry is the hot potato that nobody in Government wishes to take a hold of.

We have requests from the media to comment on the current situation early next week, so we kindly request a response from you in advance of this as we would prefer to have answers from you rather than report a lack of response.

On behalf of the Event, Entertainment & Nightclub Stakeholders Group

James Robertson - The Event Shop
Simon Gasston – Delta Events
Rob Ritchie – Stage 2 Productions
Warren Plant and John Neal – Marquee Solutions
Warren Le Sueur and Tim Bartlett – Weekender Festival
Simon Harper – Harpers Catering
Tony Sergeant – Jersey Kitchen
James Godfrey – Royal Jersey Showground Events
Andrew Thomas – 3D Events
Nigel Vautier – Vibert Marquees
Martin Sayers – Vittoria Nightclub
JP –Anquetil – Rojos Nightclub
Lyle de la Cloche – Blkout Events
Warren le Sueur, Lyle De La Cloche and Simon Gasston – Out There Festival
Warren le Sueur, Simon Gasston and Tim Bartlett - TogetherParties
Barry McKenna – Havana Nightclub
JP Anquetil and Paul Herridge - Wonky Town Festival
Julie & Christophe Chateau - Performers Jersey

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