SAFETY FIRST FOR JUNKANOO: Police out in force, says minister, as tickets in demand

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg.


Tribune Staff Reporter


YOUTH, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg is pledging that the upcoming Junkanoo parades will be safe, with police and Defence Force officers set to be out in full force.

This comes as demand for tickets to the parades after a nearly three-year hiatus is said to be high, with more than 1,600 already sold for Boxing Day.

Asked about safety measures at the upcoming events, Mr Bowleg told this newspaper: “My technical team is in charge of that but as it relates to safety protocol, definitely we are increasing the security measures where we are going to have a large number of police and defence force officers on all routes.

“I spoke to the commissioner, he’s going to ensure that the Bahamian people can come out and be safe. If any of those young men want to come out to Junkanoo to cause hazards, we hope they don’t want to do that. We haven’t had Junkanoo for almost three years so the Bahamian people (are) missing Junkanoo, the nation is missing Junkanoo and so safety is going to be (there) as it relates to the protection of the Bahamian people.”

As of 6pm Saturday, 1,611 tickets for Boxing Day and 109 tickets for New Year's Day had already been sold.

Dwyane Davis, chief information officer for the Cable Bahamas Group of Companies, revealed the demand for the highly sought-after event this season after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tickets can be purchased through an Aliv Junkanoo app. The company is offering the service as a courtesy to Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP). The company is a sponsor of Junkanoo and Alive makes no money at all off the tickets.

There were some complaints over the launch of Aliv’s app, particularly customers getting Junkanoo tickets.

Mr Davis acknowledged there were some issues with the app, but added: “Yesterday, before we took the system offline, we had already sold 1,611 tickets for Boxing Day. And we had sold 109 tickets for New Year's Day. That was as of 6pm yesterday (Saturday).”

In response to the complaints, Mr Davis explained yesterday: “The launch went off seamlessly - in all of our advertising, we always said that the app (for purchasing tickets) would be ready at three o'clock when they started the picking (for parade order), but some persons decided to go to the store from like, six, seven o'clock in the morning and when they got there, we explained to them that the tickets won't go on sale at three o'clock, which we did advertise.

“Here’s the thing: when we did the app, anyone that knows technology knows that the Google Play Store is different from Apple. Apple is a lot more stringent with approving an app than Google. So the vast majority of our base, which is well over 80 percent of our base, which is Android, we were happy and excited that Google approved that so we made a business decision to go with the release of the Android app with anticipation of having the Apple iOS app available by tomorrow for purchasing.

“Number two, the demand could not have been anticipated. So the issue had nothing to do with load balancing and technology just due to the demand for tickets and persons constantly trying to either reset the password or constantly say ‘forget password’. . .what we did was the app sent well over 15,000 emails within the space of two hours. So automatically, the systems around the world looked at it as spam - and that’s the reason why persons were not getting any tickets by email.”

He said the system was taken offline to allow for the issues to be sorted out.

He added that ticket buyers also got text messages to let them know their ticket purchases were successful.

“By the end of today, all those persons who purchased tickets and got a text will get the tickets electronically today.”

Not all tickets will be sold through the app; some will be available for walk up customers at Aliv’s Cable Beach and Harbour Bay stores.


SP 3 months, 3 weeks ago

It's going to be deadly!


Sickened 3 months, 3 weeks ago

As a teenager I remember the gangs (Raiders) roaming up and down the parade route just looking for a fight. There were so many fights through the side streets (especially in the parking lot between Fidelity and Bahamas financial centre. I clearly remember about 8 boys running down 1 boy and kicking the crap out of him before turning their attention elsewhere. Witnessing an episode like that was not even a little shocking as we would just walk by and none of the bad boys even looked our way - they had their targets. This year, with all of the violent crime going on in our once beautiful country, I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if someone rushing on shirley street got shot. If someone timed the shot just right people may not even know what happened until the next guy tripped over the body. However shocking an incident like this may be I would be even more shocked if the incident described interrupted the parade for more than 30 minutes. The police would simply remove the body and the show would go on. After all Junkanoo is our one and only cultural event.


TalRussell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

In other competing news.

I neither endorse nor knock how effective it is or is not boost the body's circulation through Electromagnetic Therapy but if they're not more than disguised paid InfoCommercials, if being transmitted out to the talk show listeners' as topics of interest. and everything else like this and that Chinese things that heals ya and it cures ya.

Most certainly, at minimum, calls out for URCA establishes regulatory standards and boundaries, made the more so when visiting a guest's website does run smack across,

'Trusted & Proven'. As heard Guardian Radio 96.9 'Revolution'..

Comrade Host Juan "Mr. Carmichael's. Oh is there Trusted & Proven.--- "Mr. Carmichael's *lab conducted tests run', ― Yes?


SP 3 months, 3 weeks ago

NO CHANCE of myself or any member of my family going out there!


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