Disappointed! - Revellers fume after One World Rebellion withdraws from Carnival in Jamaica
It was announced via social media last weekend that One World Rebellion, the carnival band led by soca heavyweights Fay-Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin, would not be part of the road march celebrations in Jamaica this year.
In the statement released on the band's Instagram page, the managers of One World Rebellion explained: "The decision is due to conflicting reports from the Jamaican organisers versus those from sponsors pertaining to the receipt of funds over the last few months which require further investigation for clarity."
The band also included a public apology as part of its statement.
"The management of One World Rebellion extends its sincere apologies to anyone affected by this decision," the statement said.
But for several followers, the apology was not enough.
One individual commented: "This is really bad business. It's less than 30 days until carnival, and there are persons, like myself, who paid for a costume and now have to scramble in hopes to find a new one ... not cool. It's not just the costume, this affects a lot of different areas of people's lives financially. Carnival is not cheap, it is an investment."
After an impressive launch last December, many individuals had great expectations for the band, which was endorsed by recording artiste and VH1's Love & Hip Hop star Amara La Negra and Jamaican dancehall artiste Beenie Man.
Miami resident Rae Edwards is one such person. She said that she, along with four friends residing overseas, had made preparations, including booking flights and accommodation, to attend Carnival in Jamaica as part of the One World Rebellion.
"It is a group of five of us, and all costumes were paid off, but the person who used their card has yet to receive the refund," Edwards told THE STAR. "It is kind of annoying because we were trying to coordinate everything and a couple weeks before the event we need to scramble around to, not only find costumes in a different band, but new accessories to match. It's like they pulled the rug from under us."
Although this is not the experience a first-timer would like to have, Edwards said that she will still be coming to the island, having switched to Bacchanal Jamaica.
"I am the laid back one of the group, who tends to see the silver linings, so I am optimistic everything will come together for my friends and me to have a blast."
However, Edwards said that she was disappointed with how revellers were made aware of the cancellation.
"I feel bad for the people that never saw the post. The only reason we found out they were not participating was from social media. And as far as I know, they made no attempts to reach out to the people who purchased packages to let them know what was going on and to answer questions," she said.