Jamaica Gleaner

Stand­ing the test of time

More en­ter­tain­ment events fold, oth­ers seek fresh ap­proach

- Dav­ina Henry • Staff Re­porter Kingston · Sizzla · Jamaica · Office of the United States Trade Representative · United States of America · Savannah · Hagley Park · Freddie McGregor · Toni Braxton · Tanya Stephens · Bounty Killer · The KLF

AMONG THE nu­mer­ous events held in the Cor­po­rate Area are a num­ber of weekly par­ties, in­clud­ing Up­town Mon­days at Sa­van­nah Plaza in St An­drew; Sexy Tues­days, held at the Mango Ranch on West Kings House Road; Weddy Weddy Wed­nes­days on Burling­ton Av­enue; and Whap­pings Thurs­days, off Ha­gley Park Road, which cater to the

grow­ing en­ter­tain­ment needs of pa­trons.

In­ter­est­ingly, many of these events do not charge a cover. How­ever, Weddy Weddy and Up­town Mon­days have had to in­clude a cover charge to off­set pro­duc­tion costs. Cur­rently, there is a $500 cover to party at Weddy Weddy, while Up­town Mon­days charges $300.

Other events, which have gone the no-charge route, of­ten find them­selves hav­ing to bring an end to the se­ries be­cause of fi­nan­cial strain, the most re­cent be­ing the Blue Essence Lounge in Kings Plaza. Af­ter five years of pro­vid­ing live mu­sic, the cur­tains fi­nally closed on the event due to the im­po­si­tion of a strata plan by the man­age­ment of the lo­ca­tion. Be­fore that, artistes like Tar­rus Ri­ley, Bongo Her­man, Di Blue­print Band, and Fred­die McGre­gor all graced the stage there and thrilled fans with their mu­sic.

Other events, such as those of­fered by Puls8, lo­cated on Trafal­gar Road in New Kingston, con­tinue to stand the test of time. But how sus­tain­able are these types of events,

es­pe­cially dur­ing these chal­leng­ing eco­nomic times?

Ac­cord­ing to Kings­ley Cooper, head of Pulse Lim­ited, prod­uct deals are im­por­tant in the ab­sence of a cover charge. He also added that to get the level of busi­ness re­quired, pric­ing must be at­trac­tive to con­sumers.

“In the ab­sence of a cover charge, mar­gins (gen­er­ated from food and bev­er­age sales) are es­pe­cially tight, so cost man­age­ment and a gen­er­ally tight op­er­a­tion are key. When all is said and done, it is about prof­itabil­ity and cash flow. So if costs can be cov­ered and a profit made, then the busi­ness is sus­tain­able, es­pe­cially as these busi­nesses are cash busi­nesses. If well sup­ported, they gen­er­ate good cash flow. How­ever, these are tough eco­nomic times, so price is im­por­tant,” he warned.

Puls8 also of­fers at­trac­tive in­cen­tives, such as drink spe­cials, in or­der to at­tract pa­trons.

“Our drink spe­cials are also of­fered with the sup­port of our sup­pli­ers. It should be noted, how­ever, that to get busi­ness these days, even clubs with cover charges are ad­mit­ting a high per­cent­age of pa­trons free, us­ing (guest) lists and other mech­a­nisms. Pa­trons need to be mo­ti­vated to sup­port any es­tab­lish­ment in these times,” Cooper told The Sun­day Gleaner.

Struc­tured as a club (open on some nights) and cater­ing to in­di­vid­u­als in the mid­dle to lower up­per end of the in­come mar­ket, Puls8 has been able to con­tin­u­ously cater to the needs of their pa­trons with­out them hav­ing to break the bank. With the added live-per­for­mance el­e­ment, Cooper noted that they were able to amor­tise these costs against over­all rev­enue. Some of the artistes who have per­formed in­clude Siz­zla Kalonji, Ai­do­nia, Chi Ching Ching, Tanya Stephens, and most re­cently, Bounty Killer, were cho­sen based on pop­u­lar ap­peal and rel­e­vance, ac­cord­ing to Cooper.

COVER CHARGE

“The live per­for­mances sim­ply en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence of our pa­trons and pro­vide another rea­son for them to visit us. Nat­u­rally, this comes with a cost, but we amor­tise these costs against over­all rev­enues. As in­di­cated, even clubs with cover charges are ad­mit­ting a high per­cent­age of guests free in or­der to get busi­ness. Our model is based on vol­ume. Once we hit a cer­tain tar­get, we are good. Oth­ers may col­lect at the gate but may not at­tract the level of sup­port needed to meet their obli­ga­tions.”

In re­cent years, The Ja­maica Mu­sic So­ci­ety (JAMMS) and the Ja­maica As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­posers, Au­thors, and Pub­lish­ers (JACAP) have stepped up their drive to in­sist that pro­mot­ers of mu­sic events pay copy­right fees.

Based on the size of the event, pro­mot­ers should pay the ap­pli­ca­ble li­cence fee to get a copy­right per­mit for public per- for­mance of sound record­ings. If a copy­right per­mit is not ob­tained, per­for­mance of mu­sic in public is unau­tho­rised and con­sti­tutes an in­fringe­ment of the pro­vi­sions of the Copy­right Act (1993).

This may have con­trib­uted to the demise of sev­eral weekly par­ties across the Cor­po­rate Area. In May of this year, Ja­maica was named by the Of­fice of the United States Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (USTR) as one of the rogue coun­tries that will re­main on a Spe­cial 301 Watch List be­cause of its in­ad­e­quate pay­ment of public-per­for­mance roy­al­ties.

This, how­ever, does not ap­pear to be an is­sue for Puls8 as Cooper says they com­ply with the reg­u­lar rights agen­cies.

Lo­cated in the pop­u­lar New Kingston area, Puls8 has held firm de­spite the clo­sure of sev­eral clubs and hot spots in the area such as the Asy­lum night­club and The Build­ing and Pure/Plush. Ques­tioned as to whether he be­lieves that Puls8 has ben­e­fited from these clo­sures, Cooper said it was hard to say.

“MVP, which is more dance­hall (has held steady). Pep­perseed, which is retro, has grown ex­po­nen­tially. Latin Night is also grow­ing. Re­ally can’t be sure,” said Cooper.

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COOPER
 ??  ?? stag­ing of out to the re­cent over­seas came Stone Love Visi­tors from An­niver­sary at
Wed­nes­dayz Weddy Weddy St An­drew.
, Burling­ton Av­enue, Head­quar­ters Pa­trons caught up in the vibe at
Pep­perseed, a weekly event held at Puls8 in New Kingston.
stag­ing of out to the re­cent over­seas came Stone Love Visi­tors from An­niver­sary at Wed­nes­dayz Weddy Weddy St An­drew. , Burling­ton Av­enue, Head­quar­ters Pa­trons caught up in the vibe at Pep­perseed, a weekly event held at Puls8 in New Kingston.
 ?? FILE ?? Bungo Her­man and Friends in Con­cert at Blue Essence Lounge, Kings Plaza, Con­stant Spring Road, on May 14, 2013.
FILE Bungo Her­man and Friends in Con­cert at Blue Essence Lounge, Kings Plaza, Con­stant Spring Road, on May 14, 2013.

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