Channel Islands

havana, Havienda

In club, havana club, havienda, jersey, protest on July 29, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Over the last twenty-four hours a media furore of quite astonishing proportions has overtaken my efforts to promote Havienda on Fridays as a regular event appealing to the widest possible audience. Havienda is an independent production, the aim of which is to promote the live music culture of the island. It was always and will continue to be my ambition to host events to which everyone is welcome. Early in my discussions with the club’s management it was made clear that they felt they may be risking losing dependable, mature audience by opening the doors to a community of young musicians, their friends and fans.

That worry over upsetting the regulars has paled to insignificance following the incident that took place this weekend, and has since become a national media event centering around the entry policies in place at the club, inspiring a necessary debate about weight discrimination.

I am impressed and inspired by the supporters and contributors of this Facebook group, their determination to make a firm stand and their success in dismissing remarks of a few bigots in their midst. Such is the often unpleasant nature of this debate but it is good to see sense prevail. The vast majority of people in our society know that what was done is wrong.

I am prepared to accept the manager of Havana Club understands the seriousness of the offence caused. He has promised to practice a policy which is properly tolerant to all except those who break the law and I can only hope that is implemented with good faith and real understanding of others’ rights and feelings.

I have decided the show must go on because I am committed to my work, which is trying to improve the cultural life of the island by giving young bands and their fans old and new a regular party to call their own.

Despite my anticipation of protests and argument directed toward the club’s management I won’t let down those I have been working with: DJs, musicians, technical crew and fans looking forward to a showcase of remarkable musical performance. I am secure and confident that my personal attitude towards discriminatory practices, wherever they occur, is understood.

That I am working there doesn’t mean I don’t support the cause of women who are bullied. Those who know me well will affirm there is, in fact, no cause to which I feel more strongly.

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