Opinion

EDITORIAL: Welcome, Shambhala festival-goers

Whatever its challenges, the Nelson Star is a Shambhala fan.  - Olivier Gosselin/Shambhala Music Festival Photo
Whatever its challenges, the Nelson Star is a Shambhala fan.
— image credit: Olivier Gosselin/Shambhala Music Festival Photo

The annual Shambahla Music Festival is upon us this weekend.

The Star has been on record for several years as an unabashed supporter of the festival on both artistic and economic grounds.

True, it’s not for everyone, but it is for the 10,000 electronic music fans who descend for five days each year on the Salmo River Ranch.

Detractors complain, with some justification, about the problems created by the sudden influx of people to the region, including the police resources required.

They also point to the use of drugs at the music festival, although this can hardly be blamed on organizers who take extraordinary steps to prevent illicit substances from entering the grounds, and then extensive harm-reduction measures to ensure the safety of their guests.

On balance, we believe the festival is a net positive. It gives local business a tremendous boost, and has proven itself a community asset.

Just ask Selkirk College, the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, or the Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society — a few beneficiaries of the festival’s largesse.

After 17 years, it’s time to put this perennial argument to bed. The naysayers will likely never be satisfied or go away, but organizers can and should take considerable pride in staging an event that has gained worldwide recognition.

Whatever challenges it brings, Shambhala is ultimately good for the Kootenay.

So welcome, Shambhala-goers. We hope you enjoy the festival and your stay in our area.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Toll discounts to be tested on Golden Ears Bridge
 
Coalition party retains Quebec City-area riding
 
RCMP arrest man with drugs, guns
Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
 
Council candidate: Susan Spaeti running in District of Kent
 
Delta man facing 16 charges over crime rampage
Surrey man wanted on weapons trafficking charges now behind bars
 
Corn shuckers show up en masse to break record in Chilliwack
 
Four arrested in Langley City home invasion