ENTERTAINMENT YEAR-IN-REVIEW 2018: Sandz covers Palisadoes strip

NEWSMAKER

By Brian Bonitto
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 17, 2018

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The Jamaica Observer continues its reflection on the year in entertainment. This daily column looks on the achievers, trendsetters, those who died, and the controversies.

Jamaica's aviation schedule was thrown out of sync on New Year's Day as patrons attending popular party series, Sandz blocked the Palisadoes strip, the only corridor leading to and from the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

The party was held at the 7th Harbour Beach Park in Palisadoes.

Passengers who had arrived on incoming flights had to wait for hours to be picked up, while those booked for outgoing flights got out of cars trapped in the gridlock and began walking with their luggage in tow towards the airport. Many flights had to be cancelled.

The traffic backed up all the way into the Rockfort community.

Then Police Commissioner George Quallo ordered an immediate investigation into the matter.

“It is a very unfortunate situation, but those deemed responsible will be held accountable,” he told Jamaica Observer.

Mayor of Kingston and St Andrew Delroy Williams, who, along with the police, granted permits for the event, said he regretted the incident.

“We sincerely regret the tremendous inconvenience caused to visitors, airline personnel, airport employees, and residents of Kingston and St Andrew. The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation will not be issuing any further amusement licence for events along the Palisadoes Road in the short term, and will meet with all ministries and agencies to determine our medium-to long-term position,” he said.

Organisers of the event, who also issued an apology, blamed the incident on “non-cooperative patrons”.

“Despite the efforts made from the promoters' end, there was a breakdown in the enforcement due to non-cooperation of the patrons with the parking arrangements, which in turn led to parking in unauthorised spaces, causing the build-up of traffic,” said Andrew Ellis, director of Supreme Team Limited — organisers of Sandz — in a release to the Observer.

Superintendent Robert Walker, head of the East Kingston Police Division, was subsquently transferred to the Police Area Four. Senior cops, however, said it had nothing to do with the airport fiasco.

Started in 2014, Sandz is held four times yearly.

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