March 27, 2015 - 2:27 PM
PENTICTON - Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit is disappointed by the announcement Boonstock will not be returning to Penticton in 2015.
“It is disappointing news. We had seven thousand people from outside our region getting exposed to our beautiful area that won’t be coming back again,” Jakubeit says in an email on Friday, March 27.
The festival was an annual event in Gibbons, Alberta, for nine years. Last year it was moved to Penticton, where the four-day event took place on Penticton Indian Reserve locatee lands during the August long weekend.
The festival faced issues over liquor licensing and security, including the death of a 23-year-old woman attending the festival.
“We learn from our mistakes, and clearly the promoter made some costly ones that made it difficult for them to return," Jakubeit says. "Although this was held on First Nations land, people associated it as a Penticton event."
He says he was hopeful a partnership with a future promoter and locatee owners could be put together in the future, noting the site’s “tremendous potential."
Penticton Indian Band chief Jonathan Kruger says he has mixed feelings on the event, which he says brought more people to the reserve than he has ever seen.
"There were problems and regrettably the bad part was a young lady lost her life," he says.
Boonstock president and founder Colin Kobza, who was unsuccessful in finding a financial partner for the operation over the winter, refused comment. He hasn't said if the festival is on hiatus or is cancelled altogether.
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— With files from The Canadian Press
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