This statement was released from Ray Tetzel, A/Deputy General Manager, Compliance and Enforcement Division, Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, regarding Boonstock, on Monday.
The statement comes on the heels of a decision by the government agency to not issue a liquor licence to the Boonstock Music Festival.
“The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch works hard to help each festival in BC – major or minor – have a successful liquor application while ensuring they still have the resources in place to protect the safety of festival goers. In the case of Boonstock, our concerns about a host of issues, including the lack of safety and security planning, is why we have made the decision to not approve their application. This decision is final and is not something we will review on appeal, particularly since there is such a limited time left before the festival is set to begin.
A major part of our concern in rejecting this application is for those people who plan on attending the festival. As of Friday, Boonstock organizers were unable to provide us with proof that they have signed agreements for site security, emergency health services (ambulances), waste management, potable water, tents or firefighting. The specifics of these concerns have been communicated to organizers as well.
With a reported 8,000 people having purchased tickets to the festival, this is much more than a liquor issue. That said, it is clear to us that approving Boonstock’s liquor application would only serve to raise concerns that the safety of festival goers could be threatened.
Our understanding is that other public safety agencies are also taking precautions to prepare for any potential security or safety issues during the three-day festival. RCMP are well-aware and supportive of our decision to reject the liquor application.
Our inspectors have had numerous meetings with Boonstock over the last number of months and have communicated our concerns on multiple occasions. We were hopeful that the advice we provided to organizers during these meetings would have encouraged them to take action earlier to satisfy these concerns, not only for the sake of receiving a liquor licence, but also in order to provide a safe experience for those who plan on attending. Unfortunately this has not happened and that is why we have rejected Boonstock’s liquor application.”
Boonstock organizers could not immediately be reached for comment, but have been providing updates on the situation on their Facebook page.
Several responses are also posted on the Facebook page, ranging from support to those questioning exactly what this means for the festival.