Sterling Gospel Awards goes virtual
Originally scheduled to take place on March 14 at the Courtleigh Auditorium, everything seemed perfectly planned for the Sterling Gospel Music Awards. The planning committee, entering its fourth year at the helm of the national ceremony, put contingencies in place for every eventuality. The only catastrophe they did not foresee, like everyone else, was the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the show must go on!
Those who already planned their Africa-inspired red-carpet looks can don them anyway, and tune in to the Sterling Gospel Music Awards 2020 Winners Reveal this Sunday, April 26, hosted by Ian 'Ity' Ellis.
The programme will air on TVJ and Love 101 FM and be rebroadcast on Facebook and YouTube at 9 p.m.
In an interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, ceremony founder Basillia Barnaby-Cuff explained the necessity of taking the ceremony virtual, as the awards must be handed over to make way for the next cycle.
"The awards are time-sensitive. We can't just wait around for a new date, like other types of events. Given the progression of the coronavirus over the past month, we have come to the realisation that things might not get back to normal very soon. So, we made a decision to cancel this year's physical staging and to instead do a virtual version of the awards," she said.
The founder revealed that the Sterling team cut it really close. The decision to postpone was made just two days before the ceremony's first scheduled date, just one day after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Jamaica.
"Going from being ready to execute on the day to now doing a virtual option, we were disappointed at first, obviously. We were planning from many months before. But we trust God's will, and we trust His timing. We trust that all things will work together for our good. They're already working together for our good. We just have to adjust and readjust, and make the best of the now," Barnaby-Cuff said.
For those who have not yet claimed their refunds, organisers advise that refunds will be charged to the original cards the tickets were purchased with.
As guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, arrangements will be made for patrons who purchased tickets at respective outlets as soon as it is considered safe to do so.
Ticket holders are asked to email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org with ticket numbers, a photo of the tickets, the level of tickets, and the period of purchase (early bird or regular).