Caines: reggae star never came to island
Reggae artist Kemar Vershawn Brown, who goes by the stage name Vershon, was “never refused entry into Bermuda because he never travelled to Bermuda”.
Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, weighed in on the issue after a spokesman for the performer complained he had been refused entry as a tourist.
It was claimed Mr Brown was turned away after being told that the BDA Summer Music Festival had been cancelled — invalidating his work permit.
But Mr Caines responded that concert promoters had been told “weeks in advance” that Mr Brown needed a work permit to perform on the island.
On Friday, the Department of Immigration was made aware of three Jamaican nationals who said they had come to perform at the same concert, but who did not hold valid work permits. The festival had been scheduled for Saturday, but was cancelled.
Mr Caines said the three were allowed entry to Bermuda as visitors — but that Mr Brown had not been among them.
He added that there was “no record of Mr Brown in our system”, or of an application for him to perform.
No Jamaican nationals were refused entry to the island on Friday and Mr Brown’s name did not appear on any flight manifests for that day, said Mr Caines.
He called the confusion “unfortunate” and said concert organisers had failed to inform entertainers and take responsibility for the mistake.
Mr Caines added: “Furthermore, I am disappointed that they have allowed both international and local media to misplace blame on Bermuda and the hard-working people at the Department of Immigration.”
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