Mr Temitope Babayemi, the Coordinator, Artists’ Village at the National Theatre in Lagos, has commended Gov. Akinwumi Ambode for clamping down on live bands at tavern in the state.
Babayemi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that the development would return “theatre stage’’ to their rightful place.
Babayemi, who runs “the little Theatre’’ for artists every Friday evening at the artists’ Village, said that the government had a duty to legislate on infrastructure and regulations affecting the community.
NAN reports that the Lagos State Government prohibited the staging of live bands in drinking bars, following increased rate of petitions by residents who lamented disturbance from such places.
“The days of blaring loud music to sell in Lagos are coming to an end, massive Kudos to Gov. Ambode for his love for the arts industry by professionalising it the way the legal profession has,’’ he said.
The coordinator then, appealed to the governor to also look into the activity of party organisers who usually closed the roads for such occasions without permit.
“We need to take culture out of beer parlours and pepper soup joints because they do not belong there but no government appeared to care until now."
“The bar promoters have to decide whether they want to run a bar, restaurant or events centre."
“And be prepared to stay within the law or be a professional venue-based promoter licensed to promote Live Music/Art,’’ he said.
According to him, the specifications are different and we have to start doing things properly in our environment by giving every sector the desired frame of operation.
Babayemi, a promoter of young artists, noted that the “entertainer’’ who in the first instance,was an artist, ought to possess skills that had been learned either through experience or certification.
“Although there is economic recession, culture and arts are hit first.
“Nevertheless, we must be careful not to promote the notion that Arts/Culture and Entertainment are things for idlers, they are a learned profession.
The arts coordinator said that the current governor had stepped in because he knew the importance of arts in boosting the state’s economic status.
He added that the move by Ambode would bridge the gap in the provision of opportunities for young artists to participate actively in the creative economy of Lagos.
“It is great news for Arts, Culture and Tourism, now we can begin to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of cultural promotion, recreation and entertainment.
He also blamed residents for not informing government when those structures were being converted, adding that some of them were located without Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The governor also warned that beer parlours and restaurants that violated the directive of obtaining a permit would pay a fine of N500, 000 or be sanctioned.