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Gombeys restricted to ‛work from home’ on Boxing Day – revellers advised to listen from distance

Boxing Day: Places Gombeys on Court Street (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The traditional Boxing Day performances of Gombeys will manage to go ahead this year, with the community able to enjoy the show from a distance.

Thanks to an agreement between the island’s Gombey troupes and the Government, some of the groups will perform at their homes or in isolated places, allowing the public to catch their drums from a safe range.

Walter Roban, the Acting Premier, said the traditional street shows were not safe this year with the island under restrictions to contain the latest outbreak of Covid-19.

Mr Roban said there had been an “inadvertent miscommunication” after it was announced at the Tuesday press conference on Covid-19 that the tradition had to be cancelled for this year.

He added: “Gombeys are such an important cultural institution for us as a community, especially at this time of year, and we appreciate their understanding and co-operation.”

Mr Roban called on the public to “listen from afar on their own properties, in their own homes, within their own neighbourhoods”.

Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said: “This Boxing Day, if you hear Gombeys, please enjoy them from where you are and do not try to find them.

“Gombeys will be practising their ʽmusical medicine’ in their private homes or isolated places. Some troupes may be sharing their drums on social media.”

Dr Peets said the community could find out more on the Bermuda Gombey Trackers Facebook Group.

He added: “Christmas and Gombeys are likewise affected. But we can all make changes to our usual traditions to ensure they are safe. We appreciate the troupes’ willingness to serve as community leaders during this difficult time, by adapting their customs and practices to help keep our most vulnerable citizens safe.

“This will allow Bermudians to enjoy a little music on Boxing Day, and in doing so, we must do all we can to avoid the spread Covid-19 by not allowing the creation of crowds at this time.”

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Published December 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm (Updated December 24, 2020 at 5:33 pm)

Gombeys restricted to ‛work from home’ on Boxing Day – revellers advised to listen from distance

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