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Entertainment Industry Needs Revival

MONITOR EDITOR
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which resulted in many countries imposing lockdowns, has had adverse effects on the business community. 

Many businesspeople are still feeling the effects of the pandemic although some are back to business. While restrictions on a number of activities have been lifted and eased, the same cannot be said of the entertainment industry.  The new normal for bars and liquor stores has left the businesses operating for a fewer days compared to their hours and days of operation prior to COVID-19. Liquor restaurants seem to be the ones enjoying better part of business in the new normal since the establishments are open everyday of the week. Even those operating for fewer hours and days are still better off, since there is some activity. There is the issue of performing artists, promoters, sound equipment hire companies, etc, whose trade is solely dependent on events such as festivals, dinner parties, cocktail parties amongst others. These people have not been able to work since the initial lockdown in April. The year is almost over, the poor souls have not had income in seven months. How do we expect them to survive? Of late many artists have been expressing their grievances, mainly talking about the hardships they are going through because they cannot do their daily hussle due to COVID-19 regulations.  One local artist recently posted on his timeline bitterly complaining that while the government has made it vehemently clear that there shall be no events, there seem to be preferential treatment. The artist was complaining

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about the line-up for a virtual concert, scheduled for December 5 and 12. His bone of contention was that it is always the same faces being called to do such shows while other artists are left to starve. Well, the issue of course is debatable, because one might say, artists get engaged based on their ability to pull audiences, but we are living in different and very difficult times to simply ignore others’ suffering. Government after realising that the tourism industry is one of the hardest hit industries decided to give all the businesses a six-month wage subsidy, which is indeed much appreciated as most of tour operators were able to pay their employees. The best option right now would be to come up with new strategies that can be used to fight the virus, in areas, with a possibility of attracting large numbers of people and open up the industry. That way the entertainment industry like other industries will survive. The cries from entertainers and promoters are painful, hence our plea to government to find a way of supporting the struggling industry. Many in the entertainment industry are now unable to afford the basics like paying rent and buying groceries.  We understand the serious dangers that the coronavirus poses, but there is a need to support the entertainment industry too lest COVID-19 caused irreparable damage and irretrievable gains of the old normal.



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