According to the organizers of Mocha Festival, it was their intention that only their patrons would be in attendance at Rick’s Cafe on Thursday and, were surprised to learn that other guests were allowed inside the venue.
The festival promoters made the disclosure, as they sought to absolve themselves of blame in a release on the matter.
Mocha festival said that during discussions with Rick’s Cafe, they had indicated that they wanted exclusive use of the venue, however when their request was denied they were under the impression that the operators would have acted in accordance with local guidelines and, would have closed the gate once maximum capacity was reached.
Videos from the event which have since gone viral, showed scores of patrons not wearing masks or adhering to the physical distancing measure.
The videos prompted public outrage, as the local entertainment industry has been close since March 2020 with thousands of Jamaicans having been arrested and ticketed for staging events.
The operators of Rick’s Café have since apologized for the breach.
Mocha Festival has cancelled its additional private parties at hotels, noting that patrons will have to participate in regular scheduled hotel-based activities.