A large number of local events have been cancelled over the past year, and local event organizers said they “have looked on as Bermuda played host to a slew of large-scale events on behalf of international bodies,” and they are “very concerned” and explained they are “ready, willing and able to work with the Bermuda Government to breathe life back into the local event industry.”
Local Events Cancelled
A spokesperson said, “With hundreds of local events [Music Festivals, Live Concerts, Local Cultural Events, Parties, Bermuda Carnival, Cup Match] cancelled in the past year due to unprecedented uncertainty, the future of Bermuda’s Local Event Organizers looks bleak.
“These events inject millions of dollars into our local economy and support many small businesses. The ongoing Covid-19 [coronavirus] pandemic has wreaked havoc on the livelihoods, financial security and safety of many of our citizens who work in the event industry and denied people access to these entertainment and stress-relief outlets. This pandemic is proving to be the most devastating challenge ever faced by the local event industry and the creative community as a whole.
“In an attempt to safely meet this challenge head-on as the world slowly reopens, a number of Local Event Organizers submitted Covid-compliant large-scale event or special permit requests to the Bermuda Government via the Ministry of National Security.
Increasing Sense Of Frustration
“Unfortunately, instead of responses, the only outcome of these submissions has been an increasing sense of frustration with the current process and lack of communication.
“Over the past 13 months, these same Local Event Organizers have looked on as Bermuda played host to a slew of large-scale events on behalf of international bodies as well as the government, with the most recent one being Revolve.
Heartbreaking This Courtesy Not Extended To Local Event Organizers
“The Minister of Health has stated at the Bermuda Government’s press conferences that there have been joint weekly planning meetings and support given to these international event teams to ensure the safety of those attending and ultimately the event’s success. It is truly heartbreaking that this courtesy has not been extended to our Local Event Organizers.
“The same Local Event Organizers who have submitted requests and/or proposals have also been seeking advice, guidance, partnership and support from the Bermuda Government on an ongoing basis. Many were assured that they would receive a response to their proposals within a 30-day period but these time frames lapsed significantly without acknowledgement or feedback from the Government.
“In the few ‘successful’ cases, organizers have been able to engage in dialogue with the relevant government department only for the request to be denied within 24 hours of the event.
“The Ministry of National Security’s Exemption Technical Advisor has the rare distinction of being in communication with the Organizers and has been helpful throughout this process but regrettably, he does not make the final decisions around exemptions.
Event Organizers Are Very Concerned At This Point
“The event organizers are very concerned at this point and publicly reiterate that we stand ready, willing and able to work with the Bermuda Government to breathe life back into the local event industry.
“We are appealing for answers to the following questions: How can we improve our requests and thereby help stimulate the local economy? What are the hurdles/issues that we need to address for the Ministry of National Security?
“What separates our local event organizers from the international? Is there a preference for international event organizers over local? If not, why isn’t the same guidance and support provided to all organizers?
Event Organizers Of Bermuda Are Eager To Provide Safe Events
“The event organizers of Bermuda are eager to mobilize and provide safe, well-monitored and specially-engineered events/ gatherings to the people of Bermuda who are in desperate need of a “release.” We hope to hear from you in this regard.”
The statement was signed by Party People Entertainment, Nova Mas International, Code Red Bda, Wild Apache Promotions, and Off Level Bda