The confirmation of a second imported case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as well as the global pandemic, has begun to have an effect on the staging of two major entertainment events.
The University of the West Indies, Mona has announced the postponement of its annual carnival which was set to take place on the campus this weekend, while popular party promoters Frenchmen have stated that all of their events for this carnival season have been cancelled.
In a statement, the university noted that after careful deliberation the decision has been taken to postpone UWI Carnival 2020 as a safety measure in light of COVID-19 hitting Jamaican shores.
“The UWI community deems this a necessity as we put the interest of our stakeholders at the fore…new dates for the events are being discussed with our stakeholders and rescheduled dates will be communicated soonest,” a statement read.
UWI carnival events were set to kick off tonight with a launch party opposite the campus’ Student Union. Other scheduled events included J’Ouvert on Friday, Ring Road and an After Mas on the campus on Saturday, and Beach Fete at Sugarman Beach in Portmore on Sunday.
The situation is similar for Frenchmen, who also indicated that the safety of their stakeholders was paramount.
“It is after lengthy consideration that The Frenchmen will be cancelling all events associated with the soca season 2020, in light of the confirmation of the coronavirus in Jamaica. This includes all lymes, Easter weekend and carnival week parties. The Frenchmen continue to put the interest of patrons, sponsors, service providers and the public at the forefront. For those patrons who have purchased tickets, please note that full refunds will be facilitated immediately,” the statement said.
The carnival events organised by Frenchmen include Rise Up, SunDazed, Bazodee and Blocko.
The three major carnival bands — Bacchanal Jamaica, Xaymaca International and Xodus — announced on Tuesday that they will adhere to whatever guidelines are issued by the Ministry of Health, while the organisers of Reggae Sumfest shared a raft of measures they will be putting into place for this year’s staging of the festival from July 12-18. The organisers of the BRT Weekend party series have also rescheduled their events which were originally set for this weekend in Ocho Rios. The new dates are July 31 – August 2. The organisers advise that all tickets purchased will be honoured for the new dates.