Expats in North Cyprus may get their evening entertainment back

Published:  14 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Cyprus, Emigration
Popular with tourists and a smaller number of expat residents than in the southern part of the island, North Cyprus was a desert last year as regards evening fun due to restrictions on visiting entertainers.

Many Brits considering emigrating to Cyprus after their retirement kicks in may not even be aware that North Cyprus is also a residential option as well as a popular tourist destination. However, for several years, the number of expatriate entertainers working in local pubs and clubs has been severely curtailed due to difficulties in obtaining work permits.

The situation as regards entertainment in the northern sector of the island has often deteriorated into farce, with local police organising crackdowns on popular bars and clubs, thus depriving tourists, expats and the musicians themselves of an essential part of the Cyprus experience. Illegal performers were arrested, artistes were sacked and general chaos became the norm, including the opening and prompt closure of several agencies attempting to regularise the industry.

Last year’s showing was the worst yet, affecting the resident expat community as well as an increasing number of tourists arriving for the North’s stunning scenery and warm weather. Attempts were made by two local musicians to set up an agency, but seemingly failed, leaving those looking for buzzing nightlife including music restricted to a very few venues or the North’s casinos.

However, this year’s crop of venues and performers seems to have increased dramatically, perhaps due to another agency started by musicians Alan Bartholomew and Gavin Simons. The determined duo told local media they had founded A-Chord Entertainment to offer multi-venue work permits allowing entertainers to work legally in the northern sector of the island. It’s not the first time it’s been tried, but hopefully this time there’ll be positive results.

The pair’s only fear it that their efforts to regulate the industry may be wrecked by another influx of illegally-working groups and other entertainers, thus alerting the authorities and possibly ending the new agency before it’s had a chance to grow. The pair believe that if the same authorities were to enforce the rules regarding entertainers and ensure those working were actually legally entitled to do so, the situation would be far better.
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