A 40-year-old law preventing loud music and dancing on Sundays is putting a damper on this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cayman.
It’s prompted Opposition Leader Hon. Ezzard Miller to call for a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly next Friday to amend the law after complaints from businesses and constituents who want to fight for their right for a New Year’s Eve party.
New Year’s eve is big business for many from restaurants to servers to taxi operators. But Cayman’s Music and Dancing (Control) Law is putting the brakes on one of the most lucrative days of the holidays because it falls on a Sunday.
“The Government should have addressed this much earlier in the year. We all know from the time the calendars were printed in September/November last year that New Year’s Eve would be falling on a Sunday.
Mr Miller is calling for an LA meeting on 29 December to amend the law to allow celebrations to continue unhindered.
The amendment, he said, would be “to give the Liquor Licensing Board the authority to grant permission for music and dancing on a Sunday night and I would support for it from 10 o’clock to 2 a.m. Monday morning simply because of New Year’s Eve, short of that there’s nothing that can be done.”
On Wednesday (20 December) the board issued a blanket extension of hours for 1 January to run from 12:01 a.m. to 4 a.m. However, it said regular licensing conditions/hours apply to New Year’s Eve. Mr Miller said people are not happy with the current situation.
“They will not be allowed to celebrate New Years in the style they would normally celebrate it and they regard the legislation as antiquated and it should be corrected and I understand their position,” the Opposition Leader said.
However Mr. Miller admits with New Year’s Eve a little over a week away the options are slim to change things now.
“To raise it at this point in time leaves the government with very few alternatives in terms of trying to meet their demands in order to allow them to get the business that they need on New Year’s Eve,” he said.
Mr Miller said the majority of the Opposition supports his position. Veteran MLA Anthony Eden does not. He told Cayman 27, “We are losing too much of our old time traditions as it is now.”
We reached out to Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin for a response to Mr. Miller’s call. He never responded nor did his team at the Office of the Premier.