Sandz in trouble again

By Kediesha Perry
Observer writer

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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WITHIN 18 months, popular party series Sandz is at the centre of controversy.

On Sunday, the Sandz Toronto Caribbean Music Festival held at the parking lot of the Woodbine Mall in Etobicoke, Canada, came to an abrupt ending after gunshots were fired. Several patrons received minor injuries in the melee that followed.

Andrew Ellis, director of Supreme Team Limited — organisers of Sandz, said his team was unable to release a statement at this time, due to the incident's sensitive nature.

“We are advised by our PR not to put anything out there because the issue is still ongoing and we don't want to have anything on record just yet,” Ellis told the Jamaica Observer.

According to Canadian media reports; however, an altercation ensued between two men around 7:00 pm which resulted in one being struck with an object, and shots subsequently fired. There were no accounts of gunshot injuries, but several people were assessed for minor injuries at the scene, and at least one was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Incidentally, Sandz Canada edition was originally scheduled to be held in Vaughn, a city north of Toronto. However, directors took a decision to change the location three days before due to what they referred to as “a freak accident at the venue which rendered it unusable”, according to a Facebook post.

Several persons in Canada have been raising concerns via social media.

“Stop endangering your community and kids,” said Chase Lane.

Samuel Appiah said: “This is why I don't go to big gatherings in Rexdale anymore,” while

Roy Roach posted: “I took a walk around the mall and the vibe didn't seem right. People know when there's an event in Rexdale to come prepared. This area is notorious.”

This is not the first time the Sandz party series is making the news.

The 2018 New Year's edition, held at 7th Harbour in Kingston, left several people disgruntled after partygoers parked along the Palisadoes strip causing a great deal of inconvenience to those who wanted to commute to and from the Norman Manley International Airport. The traffic backed up all the way to the Rockfort community.

A day later, directors issued a formal apology to the public.

“We would like to apologise for any inconveniences caused by the traffic on the Palisadoes strip. It is important to note that traffic recommendations were raised and agreed to before permission was granted to use the venue. Security plans were shared with and approved by all superior bodies, consisting of the hiring of police patrol on the strip, the rental of additional parking space0/shuttle buses, advertising of the designated parking, and the placement of adequate signage on the road,” said Ellis, in a January 2 release to the Jamaica Observer last year.

Started in 2014, Sandz dubs itself as “the largest Caribbean music festival” and is held four times a year in Jamaica. In addition to Toronto, Canada, it is also held in Florida and New York.


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