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Locals say few problems from Cavendish Beach Music Festival this year


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NORTH RUSTICO - Concerns raised in 2015 about noise, public drunkenness and traffic at last year’s Cavendish Beach Music Festival were almost completely fixed this year, thanks to a concentrated effort by event organizers and local officials.

At a public meeting Monday evening in North Rustico to get public feedback on the concert weekend, the overwhelming majority of comments were positive.

This was is in stark contrast to the same meeting held last year about the three-day music festival.

Residents and business owners in the Cavendish area were up in arms over public drunkenness, vandalism, public sex and traffic congestion caused by concertgoers during the three-day music festival held in July of last year.

RELATED: Outrage in Cavendish

But organizers and the municipality worked with the RCMP, the Liquor Control Commission, local campground operators and with residents and business owners to address these concerns.

And their efforts appear to have paid off.

Two private security companies were hired to safeguard certain key areas, bus marshalling areas were relocated and 7,500 feet of temporary fencing was installed.

Increased RCMP presence helped stop troublemakers driving to the concert site impaired or with open liquor, and RCMP officers were key in keeping traffic jams almost non-existent.

Other measures, such as making admission bracelets available ahead of time at events and local campgrounds, and lifting the P.E.I. Brewing Company exclusivity on alcohol sales to include Molson products achieved less congestion and fewer people coming and going from the concert site.

“It’s that back-and-forth traffic, people coming and going multiple times, where you have increased interactions with property and congestion,” said Matthew Jelley, chairman of the Resort Municipality that includes Cavendish and North Rustico.

“A lot of the changes this year certainly made a positive impact, and it just means we have to continue working in the future to build on that.”

Jeff Squires, CEO of Whitecap Entertainment, which produces the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, told the meeting Monday night it is important to the concert’s brand to address any concerns that arise, especially the strong concerns that emerged last year.

“When we began this eight years ago, and if you go back and look at the notes from then, we were dealing with completely different situations than we’re dealing with right now,” Squires said.

“It’s a matter of learning your lessons every year, and we have some operational things that we’re going to continue working on for next year. But the customers have learned to recognize it’s a quality event and when they give their feedback on how things can be changed, we listen.”

Local business owners at the meeting Monday commented that flow and property concerns were greatly improved this year.

The owner of Marco Polo Land, where a concertgoer was injured after climbing the fence at the pool last year, said he had no problems at all this year.

RCMP Sgt. Mark Crowther said traffic was so effectively managed, officers had placed a bet they could clear traffic by midnight.

Traffic was back to normal by 11:52 p.m.

“From a policing standpoint, I think job well done,” Crowther said.

 

Teresa.wright@tc.tc

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

 

 

 

NORTH RUSTICO - Concerns raised in 2015 about noise, public drunkenness and traffic at last year’s Cavendish Beach Music Festival were almost completely fixed this year, thanks to a concentrated effort by event organizers and local officials.

At a public meeting Monday evening in North Rustico to get public feedback on the concert weekend, the overwhelming majority of comments were positive.

This was is in stark contrast to the same meeting held last year about the three-day music festival.

Residents and business owners in the Cavendish area were up in arms over public drunkenness, vandalism, public sex and traffic congestion caused by concertgoers during the three-day music festival held in July of last year.

RELATED: Outrage in Cavendish

But organizers and the municipality worked with the RCMP, the Liquor Control Commission, local campground operators and with residents and business owners to address these concerns.

And their efforts appear to have paid off.

Two private security companies were hired to safeguard certain key areas, bus marshalling areas were relocated and 7,500 feet of temporary fencing was installed.

Increased RCMP presence helped stop troublemakers driving to the concert site impaired or with open liquor, and RCMP officers were key in keeping traffic jams almost non-existent.

Other measures, such as making admission bracelets available ahead of time at events and local campgrounds, and lifting the P.E.I. Brewing Company exclusivity on alcohol sales to include Molson products achieved less congestion and fewer people coming and going from the concert site.

“It’s that back-and-forth traffic, people coming and going multiple times, where you have increased interactions with property and congestion,” said Matthew Jelley, chairman of the Resort Municipality that includes Cavendish and North Rustico.

“A lot of the changes this year certainly made a positive impact, and it just means we have to continue working in the future to build on that.”

Jeff Squires, CEO of Whitecap Entertainment, which produces the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, told the meeting Monday night it is important to the concert’s brand to address any concerns that arise, especially the strong concerns that emerged last year.

“When we began this eight years ago, and if you go back and look at the notes from then, we were dealing with completely different situations than we’re dealing with right now,” Squires said.

“It’s a matter of learning your lessons every year, and we have some operational things that we’re going to continue working on for next year. But the customers have learned to recognize it’s a quality event and when they give their feedback on how things can be changed, we listen.”

Local business owners at the meeting Monday commented that flow and property concerns were greatly improved this year.

The owner of Marco Polo Land, where a concertgoer was injured after climbing the fence at the pool last year, said he had no problems at all this year.

RCMP Sgt. Mark Crowther said traffic was so effectively managed, officers had placed a bet they could clear traffic by midnight.

Traffic was back to normal by 11:52 p.m.

“From a policing standpoint, I think job well done,” Crowther said.

 

Teresa.wright@tc.tc

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

 

 

 

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