Sandz Music Festival Toronto Caribbean festival

The Sandz Music Festival, an event marred by violence and being called out for having insufficient security for crowd control, is making its return to Toronto after a 2-year hiatus.

The Caribbean-themed event made headlines for all the wrong reasons in the summer of 2019 when police responded to reports of gunfire at the main stage. A man was found on the ground bloodied but not from a gun wound. After an investigation, the police concluded that the victim was left injured after being hit in the head by a bottle.

Initially Reported As Gunfire At Sandz Music Festival

Paid officers on duty heard what they thought to be sounds of shots fired while attempting to break up a fight. It was during that fight the victim was hit across the head with what was reportedly a bottle. After inspecting the area, Toronto police spokesperson David Hopkinson said there was no evidence of actual gunfire, “We did find one bullet, not a spent shell casing …”

A security guard at the event has come forward on the condition of anonymity. She describes the violence, as “an embarrassment to the city,” and among several concerns regarding the safety of festival attendees during the event.

“When we first pulled up, we said, ‘There’s no way this is it,'” she said. “It was a cage,” is how she described the fence lined up around flat-bed trucks arranged in a square to contain party-goers.

Questions Arise Regarding Sandz Music Festival

“My first question is: where are the emergency exits and my second question is: who’s going to be manning the exits?”

She also noted that the event was beyond capacity. Organizers were resorting to hand-made wristbands to accommodate everyone after regular wristbands ran out.

Video from the CBC shows people awkwardly pressed along the fencing while others jump over the fence to relieve the pressure.

That video was shot before the reports of shots being fired which sent people fleeing in panic and resulted in some festival-goers suffering minor injuries after getting trampled on.

Festival Details

Date: July 9th, 2022

Tickets: $60.00 each and must be purchased online prior to the event as there will be no tickets sold at the gate.

Location: There is no additional information regarding where the event will take place nor its music lineup or vendors but an announcement is expected soon.


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By K.A.