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NYE Gospel concert called into question; Premier “appalled”

A gospel concert scheduled for New Year’s Eve and sponsored by Government reignites the debate on the Sunday ban on music and dancing. 

The Russ Taff and Michael English gospel concert is scheduled for Sunday (31 December) night at the Lion’s Centre. It’s the same night many businesses in Cayman have had to ditch their New Year’s Eve plans due to the Music and Dancing (Control) Law, which prohibits loud or live music and dancing on Sundays.

On the event website, it lists the Office of the Premier and the Department of Tourism as sponsors.

Cayman 27 reached out to the OTP today (27 December) to ask if this event is legal with respect to the music and dancing law.

We checked the law ourselves and here’s how it reads;

“Exempted premises” means;

(a) Cinemas licensed under the Cinematograph Law (2009 Revision); 2009 Revision
(b) Premises being used for bonafide dramatic entertainment;
(c) Areas in hotels which are not open to the general public and with respect to which no charge is made for admission; and
(d) Town halls;

Other than that, the law applies to all premises subject to this Law which means premises:

(a) With respect to which a charge is made for admission;
(b) Where food or refreshment is supplied to the public for a charge;
or
(c) Which are licensed under the Liquor Licensing Law (2000 Revision), but do not include exempted premises.

The event is charging for admission. 

A spokesperson for the Premier did not respond on the record specifically to our questions about the legality of Sunday’s concert.

But Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin did send us the following statement:

“I am appalled by the recent attacks on our Christian traditions and the attempts to equate the holding of a gospel concert on Sunday evening with a secular dance. I pray and hope that the day will never come in these Cayman Islands when it is considered wrong or illegal for the Christian community to worship and praise God on a Sunday evening. As long as I am Premier, I will defend Cayman’s culture and Christian traditions.”

You can read the full law here: http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/11525319.PDF

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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