The transformation of Negril in Westmoreland into an entertainment zone is a proposal led by the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliated Unions (JFMAU).
Lowell Lawson, who was recently re-elected president of the JFMAU, said the gleaner that he and his management team waste no time in expediting the proposed plans as well as in handling union matters, especially regarding issues between members and hoteliers.
“We recently had a meeting with the Entertainment Advisory Board and the Negril Entertainment Association to get the entertainment industry back on track, starting with turning the entire Negril area into a center for entertainment and tourism. The JFMAU is encouraged by the willingness of these associations and looks forward to working with these esteemed bodies,” Lawson said.
He added that the burning issue that sparked this meeting is the need for more venues that can host events with more than 10,000 customers. Lawson reiterated that entertainment drives economic growth in Negril, paving the way for the hospitality and tourism industry.
“This proposal is in complete harmony with the sentiments of Prime Minister Andrew Holness. In a Zoom meeting held on Sunday, June 20, 2021, with various players in the music industry, the Prime Minister expressed his commitment to making this a reality,” Lawson added.
Negril hosts events such as Dream Weekend, Skylark Film Nights, Reggae Marathon, Tmrw. Tday Culture Fest and the Negril International Food & Wine Festival. Lawson previously shared that land has been identified at Salt Creek Bridge for an amusement park in Negril.
Unwilling to share specifics about this park, Lawson quickly delved into the issue of “industry ills that need to be addressed,” specifically the issue of unfair treatment of musicians by hoteliers and other entertainment professionals. .
“There is a critical and ongoing case in which musicians were unfairly stripped of their jobs by a hotel, leaving them unable to support themselves and their families,” Lawson said.
He added: “However, we have been working diligently on the case to right the wrongs and resolve this matter quickly. This could very well spark the much needed transformation of the music industry, where musicians are treated fairly and meaningfully compensated for the incredible and crucial role they play in keeping Jamaica’s prized asset safe.