Securing the ‘Dreamers’

Securing the ‘Dreamers’

Appleton Special Dream Weekend, the annual summer party series, runs from July 28 until August 1 in the beach resort town of Negril. Today, associate sponsors Jamaica Observer publishes its eighth in a series of articles on the event.

ORGANISERS of Appleton Special Dream Weekend, the five-day party festival scheduled for Negril from July 28 to August 1, are pulling out all the stops to ensure the safety of its more than 20,000 patrons set to attend.

Managing director of Dream Entertainment Ltd, Scott Dunn told editors and reporters at the weekly news forum, Jamaica Observer’s Monday Exchange, held at its head office in Kingston yesterday, that safety and security is one aspect of their operations which they take seriously.

“We start our safety and security plans with a discussion with the Minister of National Security and it goes from there down. We have met with the assistant commissioner of police for Area One, and he brought together his entire Area One team… so we are planning it at that level as it relates to the police force. We then marry that with the two private security companies that we work with, extraction (bouncer) team, as well as a number of other security personnel who work with us privately in the planning trying to make everything as safe as possible ‘cause it really only takes one incident to destroy what we have taken years building,” said Dunn.

That level of security comes with a hefty price tag, explained Kamal Bankay, Dream Entertainment director with responsibility for public relations and security.

“It is a big budget, simply because we have multiple layers of security. The costs for all those levels of security are in excess of $5 million for five days of security so that works out to a million a day.”

Bankay said in order to maximise the efforts the ‘Dream’ team and the police have come up with the concept of town policing to provide a blanket of security.

“One of the things we try internally to have a very full understanding about is that, unlike any other event that happens in Jamaica, our venue is not Kool Runnings Water Park, it’s not Waves Beach, but rather Negril. If something happens to somebody in the town of Negril, people will say it happened at Dream Weekend, even if it had nothing to do with us personally and can affect us negatively,” said Bankay

“With our preliminary discussions with Assistant Commissioner of Police Warren Clarke and other senior offers from Area One, is that we have to try to think of it as town safety. So we have asked for significant additions to town policing, not just giving us officers for our event. So you’re talking about some blockades at either end of the strip in Negril to prevent certain types of vehicular traffic, spot checks, policing on the beach, vending on the strip, traffic and an overall presence on the strip to make people feel that uniformed officers are there for your concerns,” he continued.

The organisers are also upping the number of shuttle buses by 50 per cent to bring the total to 30, offering patrons and anyone free transportation along the main corridor.

Source (Jamaica Observer) – Securing the ‘Dreamers’

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