The President of the Cayman Music and Entertainment Association is recommending the CI Government cancel all permits for persons on Island to play Music and put a moratorium on hiring in the sector.
Mr. Jean-Eric Smith said he feels that at this time with so many people out of work, it is unfathomable that persons should still be in the Cayman Islands on permit as Musicians and DJs.
“We have to ensure that we get our people back to work and this is one of the areas where we need to ensure the work is going to Caymanians”, noted Mr. Smith.
Currently the tourism industry in the Cayman Islands is still non-existent. However, most bars and restaurants are nearly back to running up to full speed and live performances are now taking place once again.
The Government has said that it is seeking t bolster radio airplay for artists in the Islands and is liaising with local radio stations in that regard but with no established royalty regime in the Territory, the increase in airplay for local musicians will not have a great deal of impact on their finances.
A Government stipend of CI$1,000, which was spearheaded by the CMEA President, along with the Minister of Culture was recently given to musicians affected by the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent loss of employment.
Many musicians in the Cayman Islands whom are working within the live music industry are also involved in other professions and usually have to arrange an amendment to their permits to allow them to legally perform for formal compensation.
Mr. Smith said this was something that should be revised because those persons already have one source of income in their primary vocation/job.
Since the lockdown was imposed in late March, there have been over 3,500 work permits processed according to agency responsible for work permits and labour in the Cayman Islands.
Just over 1,300 Caymanians have registered with the Work Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) so far with over 1,000 employers also registering.
It is now compulsory for Employers seeking to process permits to post jobs on the government’s WORC portal.
With some of the top live venues in the Cayman Islands such as Havana Club still closed and the permanent closure of Royal Plams Beach Bar, Mr. Smith said now is the time to re-haul the Cayman music scene and make sure that opportunities to work/perform are going to Caymanian Musicians.