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Outrage After Mocha Fest 2021 Allowed to Proceed in Jamaica

Screen shot of video from Mocha Fest 2021

May 31, 2021 | Zhane Squire |

Mocha Fest

Mocha Fest is an Urban Festival hosted every Memorial Day Weekend in Negril, Jamaica.

On May 24th several videos from the Mocha Fest 2021 event revealed the blatant disregard for social distancing, social gatherings and mask wearing, policies implemented by the current JLP administration to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus on the island. The event which was advertised to be held from May 24 to 31st struck quite the controversy on social media.

Social Outrage

With hashtag Mocha Fest trending in Jamaica on numerous social media platforms, Jamaican citizens had a lot of questions, as the hashtag racked up over 2.05 million tweets. The event which was held at Rick’s Cafe, had quite specific guidelines given locals were not permitted to attend.

Attempts to Clear The Air

In desperate attempts to get ahead of the situation that had already escalated Government Officials and the Jamaica Tourist Board issued press releases on the matter.

Four hours shy of the event being blasted on social media the JTB issued a statement “The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is extremely disappointed to learn from videos in circulation on various social media platforms that proper observance of COVID-19  protocols was not in full compliance during an event held at Rick’s Cafe.”

The Jamaica Tourist Board went further in clarifying that it in no way supported or gave any approval to the promoter’s, even though JTB in the past was one of the notable sponsors for the event and their logo was all over this years event.

The Tourist Board tried to explain further why its logos were seen at the event.

“We are further disturbed that the Jamaica Tourist Board Logo was included in promotion of this event. The JTB has given no under taking for sponsorship or endorsement of such activities since the start of the pandemic.”

Press Release From JTB 

Equity in Justice

With the backslash coming in due to the unsanctioned event, Jamaican Prime Minister Hon Andrew Holness weighed in on the transparency of the Law of the country tweeting ” this is one country with one system of Laws which will be equally applied.”

With questions being hurled at him and his cabinet facing severe scrutiny due to this major breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act, that currently states that there should be no gathering over 15 persons at no giving time in one place, the event was said to have over 800 persons in attendance. PM Andrew Holness highlighted that the attendees action creates the narrative of the term “Two Jamaica’s” causing him to reassured the nation that the law is equal for everyone and no one is above it.

Press Release From The Government


Alot of questions still need to be answered such as who permitted the event, who are the promoter’s of the event and lastly why wasn’t there an immediate response or intervention by the local law enforcers.

Is it to be believed that the narrative of “Two Jamaica’s” is a figment of our imaginations when an event of this calibre was promoted and held, while our citizens can’t even bury their loved ones? With a another question being asked is COVID-19 prejudice to the lower class ?

 Watch Video of Mocha Fest held at Rick’s Cafe

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