WATCH: Sandz promoters issue apology after disruption leaves partygoers furious
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The organisers of Sandz Caribbean Music Festival have apologised to patrons and ‘loyalists’ for the disruption experienced during the event on New Year’s Day.
While hundreds of fans turned up to party at the annual January 01 staging, the music was reportedly turned off for over an hour, leaving party-goers furious.
The festival was celebrating its 10th anniversary.
In a release on Tuesday, the promoters reiterated that the “safety and well-being of our patrons, employees, sponsors, contractors and vendors have been our top priority.”
“During our ‘Sands X’s staging held on Monday, January 1, 2024, at Stadium East in Kingston, there was a breach at our main entrance, prompting us to cease our entertainment activities for a period to rectify the problem,” the release read.
“After much discussion with the authorities, we were allotted additional time to entertain our patrons. With over 100 security personnel, our security measures included the use of multiple checkpoints monitored by private security and police, barriers and metal detectors, among other measures,” the release continued.
There was a flood of criticism which followed the incident, including from persons questioning the commitment of the organisers to the enjoyment of patrons.
Some patrons alleged that the disruption in music caused mini-stampedes and chaos at the points of entry. Disgruntled party-goers took to social media to voice their displeasure with the ongoing problems.
“Sandz ah go on ten years now, why we still have dem problem ya?” one social media user asked.
The promoters, however, pointed out that they are committed to providing wholesome entertainment.
“We are deeply committed to providing wholesome entertainment with our loyal patrons’ safety and security at the forefront. Your commitment to our brand is the reason for our success over the decade and as such, we want to ensure we deliver on our promises,” the release said.
In 2018, the organisers of the party were at the centre of the controversy over the massive pile-up of traffic along the Palisadoes Road in Kingston on New Year’s Day.
At that time, the organisers apologised for the “inconveniences” caused by the gridlock, which lasted for several hours as partygoers blocked the road to ring in the New Year, and which prevented airline passengers from boarding flights into or out of Kingston because access to the Norman Manley International Airport was blocked.
The event triggered an investigation by local law enforcement officials, parish council officials and the Ministry of Security.