An open letter to the Government of Jamaica
The following is an abbreviated version of an open letter to the Government of Jamaica from Scott Dunn, managing director of Dream Entertainment Limited, encouraging the reopening of the entertainment industry.
I was home! Finally, back in my ecosystem, after ’10 months of quarantine’.
“These are my people,” I thought, with tears welling up in my eyes. They were DJs, bartenders, bouncers, sound technicians, artistes, bottle girls, dancers, hookah vendors, and pan chicken vendors. I felt at home, but strangely I was in Miami, Florida — 928 km away from my home, home of the UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] City of Culture, Kingston. This was where I had escaped to for my company to host an event; this was my only opportunity to earn! This was where I felt an umbilical tie to all these people, who I actually don’t even know personally but knew their roles so well — people who make their living from the events industry! This got me thinking about the people in our industry in Jamaica. Miami woke me up and I haven’t slept since.
Dream Entertainment Limited is arguably the largest owner and producers of music festivals, carnivals and large events in the entire Caribbean. A 2020 Government study determined that the two events that have the highest economic impact for Jamaica (total of $9 billion) are events: Dream Weekend and carnival in Jamaica.
For 10 months, I have suffered in silence as the Government of Jamaica has left me and my ecosystem (my family) sitting on the bench.
I understand the risks large groups would cause in a pandemic, but I’m also fair. Under the Disaster Risk Management Act in Jamaica, only a maximum of 15 people are allowed to gather. However, when I returned to Jamaica from Florida a few days ago, the entire plane cabin was shoulder-to-shoulder (no social distancing among a group coming from a COVID-19 hotbed).
Dream weekend event Jamaica
Scot Dunn is the Managing Director of Dream Entertainment Limited, the company behind Jamaica’s largest and most impactful music festival – Dream Weekend, the country’s biggest Carnival Mas Band – Xodus Carnival and in 2019 will execute the Dream Weekend Cruise – Jamaica’s first owned entire cruise ship charter.
Prior to following his ‘Dream’, Scott spent 11 years as an insurance executive, with Allied Insurance Brokers and Marathon Insurance Brokers in Jamaica and as a Lloyd’s Broker in London.
In April 2012, he transitioned from a non-executive director to Director of Finance at Dream Entertainment and then Managing Director in 2014.
Combined, Dream Weekend and Xodus Carnival contribute billions to Jamaica’s economy each year. Both events are key components in the Jamaica Tourist Board’s schedule of events and Dream Entertainment is the leader in Jamaica’s Entertainment Tourism Industry.
Scott is also the owner of Loans Unlimited – a small microfinance company. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Major – International Studies) from the University of South Florida and a Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute (London). Scott sits on a number of national committees including Carnival in Jamaica, Reggae Month and Jamrock Summer.
He is married with two lovely daughters.