carnival kingdom

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. 

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.

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. 

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the event team received a text from Vaughan at around 7:15 p.m. stating that the permit for their sold out concert had been revoked.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's representatives have stated a couple of reasons for pulling the plug on Carnival Kingdom, namely for being over capacity and for noise issues. 

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."

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Until then, people will be doing what they can to keep the Bana spirit alive.

Lead photo by

SOS Fest


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