Opinion

SunFest is partying locally, thinking globally

SunFest fans pack the front of the stage. - Andrew Leong
SunFest fans pack the front of the stage.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

SunFest has certainly eclipsed Cowichan's galaxy of other excellent summer festivals and shows.

But make no mistake— staging B.C.'s biggest country-music event ain't easy.

Greg Adams and his classy Wideglide crew — including media go-to gal Charlotte Fisher — deserve full marks for delivering a top-notch, safe festival for some 30,000 fans this weekend.

Adams' message is clear: cause problems and you're gone.

Great. Safety first.

Despite heavy, yet understanding, security and cops, some idiots pushed the envelope on the weekend, and were arrested or kicked out.

Good. We don't want another messy Merritt Mountain Festival here.

But security can't be everywhere — with a festival of this size, there are bound to be problems, including drug abuse.

That said, SunFest's positives are overly huge, spanning a big economic boost for Cowichan's hotels, bars, stores, gas stations and more.

While our economic development staff struggles to grow our area, the arts is again answering that need.

So let's high-five Adams again for his continual donations — some $500,000 so far— to valley charities and groups.

But SunFest is now more than a festival. It's a feeling you get with happy people having fun while being patient with traffic and parking queues, and crowds they may not be used to.

It's also the feeling of knowing things are under control, outhouses are being cleaned, parking is being watched, food is safe to eat, lineups are moving well, and staff and volunteers are politely firm.

We expect that awesome feeling to continue as SunFest keeps growing with global acts such as Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, and next year's headline honcho Keith Urban.

Wideglide has managed to match that organizational challenge with hard work — and listening to visitor and volunteer ideas about traffic control, signage, safety and more.

Given Wideglide's flexible attention to detail, bring on Keith, pardner.

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