EDITORIAL: Safety is paramount

You would be hard pressed to find anyone in Penticton who would turn down the opportunity to host a festival that draws a crowd of 8,500 music lovers, especially if all safety precautions have been taken.

The economic benefits of such an event, in the short and long term, are undeniable.

For that reason the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce voiced their support for the Boonstock Music and Arts Festival.

It is concerning, therefore, to learn that International Crowd Management pulled out of the Boonstock festival.  This should raise alarm bells for everyone involved.

We also support the idea of bringing music and  arts festivals to Penticton. They are good for any community, they are good for the soul and when done well, they leave everyone smiling.

Yes there are bound to be some mishaps at any event with that many people, but the number and severity of these mishaps is minimized by a good safety plan. It’s the reason there are speed limits, seat belts, life jackets and every other safety precaution.

Artists, festival goers, and the community should be concerned that a leading security company pulled away from the event over safety concerns.

The safety plan for the Boonstock festival has been the missing piece since the announcement of the festival earlier this year.  That should have been the top priority for organizers.

Now less than a month away from the event and without a safety plan in place the assurances of organizers that safety is a priority seem hollow.

It is time Boonstock organizers face the music and develop a safety plan that addresses the concerns and expectations of the community.



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