People furious at Vaughan for cancelling Carnival Kingdom party
The City of Vaughan is coming under fire on social media after cancelling one of Caribana weekend's most highly-anticipated events just hours before it was set to begin this past Saturday night.
#carnivalkingdom. We need transparency and clarity. Everyone should request all information that relates to this issue to really understand the reasons that decisions was made. Contact the City of Vaughn. It is your right and the cost is minimal. #freedomofinformation— MylLifeisGolden (@sia_sosoblessed) August 5, 2018
People have taken to Twitter to demand more clarity as to why Vaughan would cancel Carnival Kingdom — a concert run by SOS Fest Inc. — just moments before it was to open its doors at 9 p.m.
What terms of their permit were they not in compliance with? What public complaints were received for an event that hadn’t even started yet? The statement released doesn’t make any sense. If anything, it raises even more questions. #carnivalkingdom— Elle Dubé (@elledubs2) August 5, 2018
The event, which has been running for the past seven years, has previously operated out of Fantasy Fair Parking Lot and Wild Water Kingdom. This is the first time the concert was scheduled to be held in Vaughan.
I also have a really hard time believing that SOS Fest, which has been putting on #CarnivalKingdom for YEARS, mislead the City in its permit filing in terms of number of attendees. This is not a new event. It brings out thousands each year. None of this is adding up.— Izabela (@MsEditorBela) August 5, 2018
According to Carnival Kingdom organizers, the event team received a text from Vaughan at around 7:15 p.m. stating that the permit for their sold out concert had been revoked.
Security proceeded to turn away all ticket-holders outside the venue at Improve Canada who were already in line to see big-name international soca stars like Destra, Machel Montano, and Bunji Garlin perform.
City of Vaughan By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Service staff revoked the permit of the Carnival Kingdom 2018 SOS Fest event after it was determined that organizers did not comply with the terms of the permit. 1/2— City of Vaughan (@City_of_Vaughan) August 5, 2018
City of Vaughan's representatives have stated a couple of reasons for pulling the plug on Carnival Kingdom, namely for being over capacity and for noise issues.
In accordance with the City’s Special Events By-law, both the decision to grant the permit and subsequent decision to revoke, were decisions made by staff and not directed by Mayor and Council. The City of Vaughan also received a number of public complaints about the event. 2/2— City of Vaughan (@City_of_Vaughan) August 5, 2018
A couple of tweets sent out by the city yesterday afternoon also stated that they had received "a number of public complaints about the event."
So the @City_of_Vaughan issued permits for 2 events to take place. Annual events. With no history of issues. Then last minute, on a long weekend, the permits get pulled and events cancelled. I have #eventprof thoughts #carnivalkingdom #BigPeopleFete +— Tanya Hayles (@HaylesCreative) August 5, 2018
But organizers and the Twittersphere aren't buying it.
An IG statement from SOS Fest says that, contrary to what Vaughan has said, all the event's permits were submitted and approved before the concert.
"The event had all of its permits in place and planning was priority throughout the process of presenting such an event," says the statement.
Do people understand the physics of "house rattling sound" 4 to 8 kilometres away? It would mean that organs of the people AT THE EVENT would be liquified and they'd all be dead. Smells like racism to me. #carnivalkingdom— Srdjan Pejic (@batasrki) August 5, 2018
People are also confused as to how noise complaints come into play when the outdoor venue itself is located just north of Steeles and Keele, far from residences in an industrial area. On top of that, organizers say they purposely measure decibel levels to avoid that problem.
The cancellation of #carnivalkingdom is ridiculous. If that is the case then any other loud musical events such as VLED or any other concerts should be treated the same. Let's keep it real. #thecityofvaughan did not want a Carribean event held in their city.— Dwight Danilo B (@medsoulbrother) August 5, 2018
Comparisons are being made to other events like Veld, an extremely loud event held yearly at Downsview Park complete with massive speakers and fireworks to boot.
last night's cancellation of #carnivalkingdom reminds me of the city of toronto trying to cut @afrofest due to noise complaints in 2016. afrofest was threatened even though the city never measured noise levels or issued tickets for bylaw violations https://t.co/OmO2pQjdTX— here for dafonte (@DesmondCole) August 5, 2018
People are noticing the similarities between this situation and the noise complaint issue that threatened to cut Afrofest from two days to one in 2016 — a reflection of the city's dismissal of Black and Caribbean culture once again.
Even out-of-towners were feeling Toronto's pain.
But, on top of everything, even if Carnival Kingdom's organizers failed to comply with the terms of the permit, the question still remains as to why the City of Vaughan waited until the day of to dead the event.
My Freedom of Information request which will be sent to @City_of_Vaughan around cancellation of the #carnivalkingdom permit. @mbmayor best to instruct your council to retain all electronic communications made on city devices. In the meantime, #boycottVaughan pic.twitter.com/M7ft4XDcty— Winston Bharat (@WinstonBharatMD) August 5, 2018
At this point, some are so desperate for real answers they're even filing their own Freedom of Information requests to Vaughan to demand more information from the city.
According to organizers, people can start expecting refunds for their tickets (which ranged between $35 and $95) within 72 hours as of yesterday.
I say for the next couple weeks we all blast music and drive around Vaughn neighbourhoods #CarnivalKingdom give them some real noise to complain about— Annissa George ♓ (@annissapg) August 5, 2018
Until then, people will be doing what they can to keep the Bana spirit alive.
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