A safe COG?

Organizers of Center of Gravity will have to fork over an additional $28,000 to make this year's event more secure.

A large portion will go to off-site security costs.

Wet Ape Productions, producers of COG, will have to provide an addition $8,200 for increased security in neighbourhoods south of the William R. Bennett Bridge and temporary signage to deter people from 'monopolizing parking in those neighbourhoods.

On top of that, Wet Ape will have to bear the costs of additional RCMP resources to effectively police both the event site and the downtown core.

These additional costs came out of a report at the end of last year's event in which neighbours, RCMP and city voiced concerns centering around security among other things.

Before Wet Ape was issued an event permit, they had to satisfy several pre-event conditions:

appointment of a qualified security director
preliminary review of talent booked
detailed on and off-site security plan
detailed site map
late-night transportation plan

All of the conditions have been met.

The 2014 event date has also been moved up a week. COG will take place July 25 to 27, as opposed to the traditional August long weekend.

Wet Ape has also agreed to change the music genre by booking more live acts and will put more of a marketing focus on sport as opposed to concerts

They have also agreed to move the main concert stage from the sportsfield to the north field, step up clean up efforts and improve late night and early morning transportation.

This year's Center of Gravity will be capped with an overall site capacity of 8,000 people and a liquor licence for 2,000.

The City, RCMP and BC Liquor Control & Licencing Branch have also agreed not to approve any late night extensions for nightclubs during the COG weekend.

Bars will be closed by 2 a.m. that weekend, resulting in crowds vacating the downtown earlier than in previous years.


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