July 2, 2014 8:06 pm

Serious setback for Boonstock music festival

ABOVE: Angela Jung reports on the recent Boonstock setback.

PENTICTON — Boonstock, a controversial music festival planned for the August long weekend, has just suffered a serious setback.

International Crowd Management (ICM), the security company hired by Boonstock, has terminated its agreement to provide security for the event.

This comes just hours after many Penticton city council members were given a private tour of the Boonstock site Wednesday morning.

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“It came as a very great shock to everyone involved,” said Penticton councillor Katie Robinson. “There wasn’t anything said about it [at the tour].”

The three day concert was moved to Penticton this year, after an Alberta community voted to shut it down because of concerns over violence, drugs and vandalism.

READ MORE: Boonstock gets the the boot from Sturgeon County

The security company claims Boonstock organizers made significant cuts to the safety plan, causing it to raise health and safety concerns.

ICM also said organizers told it to refrain from communicating with RCMP and BC Liquor Branch.

“That is very concerning when you’re going out of your way to tell a security company that they don’t want them contacting the RCMP directly,” said Robinson.

The RCMP said it cannot sign off on a liquor licence for the event without a security company in place.

But Penticton councillor Helena Konanaz said she is still optimistic about the festival.

“I believe that the organizers are determined to make this event and that they will find alternate security for this,” said Konanaz.

Global Okanagan made several calls to Boonstock organizers for comment, but so far there has been no response.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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