Penticton & South Okanagan News
Water scarce at dusty Boonstock
Despite the concerns over Boonstock having no liquor license, the scarcity of water is a much bigger issue for festivalgoers.
A source close to Castanet who spoke on condition of anonymity has said the water situation on the grounds is "dire" and that he tried to address water concerns with organizers, but was confronted by security.
Organizers and security claim there are water stations within the grounds, but they are not plainly marked and apparently security hasn't been able to direct people to them.
Water is available for sale within the grounds for $3 per bottle - water bottles brought from outside are being dumped out by security at the entrances, in an apparent effort to keep alcohol out of the dry event.
Cole Pethybridge said the water situation seemed "very disorganized."
"I've yet to see one (a water station) and no one can tell me the exact location of them" he said. "It's ridiculous that the only option is to buy water for $3."
Bob Cook who arrived to the festival on Saturday said "I think it's unsafe that they have no water stations.
"We asked and were told there were none."
Jayme Donohoe said people selling water in the grounds told her there was nowhere else to refill.
"Bottles were $4 each and with nowhere to refill, you had to keep buying more bottles," she said.
Meredith Birchall-Spencer who works for Boonstock said there are water refill stations in the camping areas between General Admission and VIP camping, but the only water available once people are past security is for sale in bottles.
"There are six water bellies near the showers, they are being refilled regularly - several times per day," she said. "We are working to rectify signage issues today and have been handing water out at campsites."
"They could be better marked and they always have to be refilled," she said. "As far as I know, there is no access to [clean running water] on the site."
She said Boonstock organizers are urging people to stay hydrated as much as possible as the situation is hot and dusty.
Adding to this, the temperature has been above 30 degrees Celsius all weekend.
The dust cloud from the festival is visible for kilometres away, with one Naramatian saying she could see it from her father's house up Chute Lake Road.
Images of masked dancers and people wearing bandanas abound on social media to combat the dusty conditions. At night, it appeared as though dry ice has been pumped into the grounds, but it's all fine silt which bothers the eyes, dries out the mouth and gets in the lungs.
If you are struggling with air quality or water supply at Boonstock, let us know at [email protected]
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