NEWS
08/06/2018 10:00 EDT | Updated 08/06/2018 12:58 EDT

Anger, Questions After Carnival Kingdom Caribana Event Cancelled By City Of Vaughan, Ont.

The city, north of Toronto, revoked the permit for the long-running Carnival Kingdom two hours before the event.

SOSFest Inc.
A promotional ad for Carnival Kingdom, a long-running Caribana event that was cancelled by the city of Vaughan less than two hours before its start time Saturday night.

Organizers and ticketholders say they have questions after Vaughan, Ont., pulled the plug on a popular Caribana concert at the last minute.

The city north of Toronto revoked the event's permit Saturday night, sending home thousands of ticketholders who had been waiting for the concert to start.

The event, Carnival Kingdom, had been running for seven years, and organizer SOS Fest Inc. said on social media that it had been sold out.

Ricardo Roe, legal representative for SOS, says organizers received a text message from Vaughan around 7:15 p.m. Saturday, stating their permit had been revoked.

In a statement Sunday afternoon on Twitter, Vaughan officials said the permit was pulled because the organizers had not complied with its terms.

Roe says the event was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Major soca artists, including Trinidadian superstars Machel Montano, Destra, Fay Ann Lions and Bunji Garlin, were set to perform.

I'm here Toronto 😜

A post shared by Destra Garcia (@destragarcia) on

"We were shocked, a lot of people were in disbelief," said Roe, adding they were reaching out to ticketholders Sunday to give them refund information. Tickets cost between $35 and $95.

He said officials came to clear the area.

Roe said he was told there had been noise complaints from about six kilometres away following a concert at the same venue on Friday night.

"The people that were close by, and the surrounding areas, they didn't hear any music," said Roe, adding that the venue is in an industrial area and their team measures decibel levels to ensure they meet standards.

City officials said in a tweet the decision to revoke the permits was made by staff and it had received "a number" of public complaints about the event.

Roe said usually if a permit is violated, they would have the chance to pay a fine.

"I'm not sure why it was so heavy-handed ... it's millions of dollars," said Roe. "Everyone had been paid ... a lot of money went right out the door."

He said organizers are "distraught" about the cancellation and are still unsure exactly why the permits were revoked.

Ticketholders, stars unhappy about cancellation

Ticketholders took to social media Sunday and beyond to express their disappointment in the cancellation.