August 05, 2014 - 4:26 PM
PENTICTON - The Boonstock grounds that held over 8,000 people this weekend is now littered with tents, lawn chairs, beer cans and confetti, leaving crews with a lot of work on their hands.
The festival received mainly positive reviews about performances and artists that took the stage this weekend — even headliner Macklemore asked to be considered for next year’s lineup. But there were also mixed reviews from attendees in terms of organization and planning — some said they had a great time but would not be back next year.
“This is my first and last Boonstock. I am thankful for beautiful Penticton and the amazing performers I was able to see but as far as festival staff and organization I am extremely displeased,” said Courtney Erickson on Facebook.
The festival was a learning experience for organizers, in terms of management and the dust problems, said Barb Haynes, Boonstock’s director of operations. But other than that, “I feel like we did extraordinarily well,” she said.
“Even through the adversity we had… the service providers, the medical teams and Penticton Regional Hospital were spectacular,” she said. “Everybody stepped up to the plate.”
Haynes confirmed organizers are planning ahead for next year’s festival, and taking some of the things they learned this year into the drawing room with them.
That includes finding a different security company to patrol the grounds.
“We’ll look at a different option,” Haynes said with a bit of a laugh. “I’ll leave it at that.”
As for the cleanup, she said it could take a week or two to get the grounds back to normal. And she hopes Boonstock will be able to work with the locatees (First Nations land owners) to do more to improve the grounds before next summer.
As it stands, the festival grounds look like a wasteland; a small city left behind in a storm.
Replaceable items like tents and chairs weren't the only things left behind. Security guards found a puppy tied to a tent during the day. It was still there well into the night on Sunday. They untied the puppy, who has been named “Boon” to give him food, water and shelter.
“You won't be able to get Boon back,” organizers posted to the official Boonstock Facebook page in a post directed to the puppy’s owner. “He is very young and you brought him to a music festival and didn't fulfill your responsibility.”
Boon is currently happy in a new home.
The one person who didn’t go home this weekend was 24-year-old Lynn Tolocka from Leduc, Alta. who died from a suspected overdose late Friday night. The young woman’s death caused a bit of a stir and raised concerns for organizers and RCMP.
Social media was filled with comments about her death and the general use of drugs at the festival, but it is unfortunately not a unique story to music festivals. Just a few weeks ago a young man died of an overdose at Pemberton Music Festival, and three people died at Veld in Toronto this past weekend.
Boonstock organizers made a public announcement on Saturday sharing the news and sending their condolences to Tolocka’s family.
RCMP said they will release criminal and medical information later in the week after all files have been submitted and reviewed.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014