January 02, 2015 - 2:30 PM
PENTICTON — Oh, Boonstock. How we would have loved to crown you Newsmaker of the Year for 2014 for putting Penticton on the map, putting dollars in local pockets, providing great music and entertainment.
Well they did that, but Boonstock Music and Arts Festival also made headlines all year long for, well, other reasons. Coming off fresh controversy from Alberta where the festival called home for years, this was its first year in Penticton — or Penticton Indian Band land to be more precise.
Organizers battled with councillors, then RCMP over their security plan. They had to replace their own security company at the last minute, then lost their liquor licence before they dealt with overdoses and dust and crime at the August long weekend festival. Then they went back to battling the RCMP over unpaid bills. Everyone had an opinion on the subject. People loved to hate on the festival, then supporters learned to love hating on the haters and everyone else got caught in the cross-fire.
Boonstock was many things, but boring it wasn’t.
But add it up and it’s not so bad. Some people do drugs and with that comes overdoses and, yes, sometimes a death. Boonstock can’t be faulted for that. Boonstock brought Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and a bunch of great bands to the South Okanagan. Young people came to Penticton from around Western Canada and there wasn’t a single riot.
We certainly hope they can mend a few fences and make this a premiere event on the entertainment calendar.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015