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LOUD MUSIC TAKING OVER THE SERENE TOURIST TOWN OF NEGRIL!

Patrons at a party in Negril. - Contributed
Patrons at a party in Negril. – Contributed

By Karrie Williams—-

NEGRIL, Westmoreland:

The serene atmosphere which was once synonymous with the resort town of Negril is fast becoming a thing of the past. This is the sentiment being echoed by some tourists, resort owners, and local residents who, in recent times, have been complaining about their inability to sleep peacefully at nights.

This problem, they say, comes as a result of the excessive noise caused by open-air music shows and parties – being staged along Norman Manley Boulevard – which are in breach of the Noise Abatement Act.

“I have personally called the Negril police on several occasions to complain that these shows, with their excessively loud music blasting at all hours of the night, were keeping me awake, but sadly, my complaints fell on deaf ears,” long-time vacationer to Negril, Melisa Brian, told Western Focus.

LIMIT NEEDED

General Manager of Rondel Village Resort, Carolyn Wright, said there ought to be a limit to the volume at which music can be played in the resort town in the interest of Jamaicans who reside there as well as visitors.

“We know entertainment is important, but the level that people play their music at is too high. Persons should not have to be subjected to overly loud music when they are on their vacation. Likewise, there are some persons that live and work in Negril who also have a problem with loud music. It interrupts sleep, and this is not fair as those persons have to work in the daytime,” he said.

Operator of Firefly Beach Cottages, David Sykes, pinpointed one property which he said continued to stage party activities up to four in the morning, disregarding the stipulated 2 a.m. deadline.

“They now often start the noise at about two in the afternoon, so there can be 14 hours of it. The noise volume of these concerts is always much higher than the legal volume, yet the police do nothing,” Sykes said.

Jamaica’s Noise Abatement Act stipulates that “no person shall, on any private premises or in any public place at any time of day or night sing, or sound or play upon any musical or noisy instrument; or operate, or permit or cause to be operated, any loudspeaker, microphone or any other device for the amplification of sound, in such a manner that the sound is audible beyond a distance of 100 metres from the source of such sound and is reasonably capable of causing annoyance to persons in the vicinity”.

StreetDancePatrons

BE MORE ACCOMMODATING

But events promoter Dr David Garwood, who recently staged a show at Chances Pizza Bar in the town, says both the tourists and local residents of Negril should be more accommodating.

“All over the world, there are specific places which are known for entertainment, and Negril’s value as an entertainment venue is one that has evolved overtime. Although some properties could be affected by the music, parties are held primarily on weekends when a lot of persons will not be going to work the following day. Instead of complaining, tourists should attend more of these parties and view them as all being part of their Jamaica experience,” he said.

According to Dave Etzler, an American tourist who has been visiting Negril annually for more than 30 years, he is not affected by the volume of music in the town.

“Some tourists have a problem with the loud music at night. This is a part of the Jamaican culture and should be honoured and respected and enjoyed – like the foods. If they don’t want to experience the true Jamaican culture and life, they shouldn’t leave home,” Etzler said.

 

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