UPDATE: The Penticton Indian Band has retracted its retraction dealing with the upcoming Boonstock event.
On Monday, the Penticton Indian Band issued a statement saying it was withdrawing its support for the Boonstock event set for this weekend on the Penticton Indian Reserve because the band had not received a deposit for policing.
The band says it is retracting its earlier statement and is now supporting the event.
“As of noon today the Boonstock organizers have fullfilled and met all requirements asked by the Penticton Indian Band Council,” the band says in a release. “This was a huge outstanding issue in terms of support being provided for the event. The Penticton Band Council have retracted their previous media release and has re-instated their support for the event.”
The release goes on to say that the Penticton Indian Band has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the community members.
The sum of the deposit Boonstock organizer made to the band is not disclosed in the release.
Boonstock has been marred in setbacks this week.
Last week, it was learned that the event has been denied a liquor licence by the province.
Despite the setback, organizers have said the event will go ahead as planned.
PENTICTON, BC — Despite Boonstock organizers’ optimism, the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch’s decision to deny the festival’s liquor license application is final.
The branch says organizers have not been able to prove they have contracts with several groups, including security and emergency health services.
Ray Tetzel, the Deputy General Manager of the Branch’s Compliance and Enforcement Division, also explains that these concerns were communicated with Boonstock for several months now.
Global News contacted 24/7 Security, the group hired to oversee the 3-day festival, to see if a signed agreement has been made.
Lucky Dhaliwal, the security group’s owner, says an agreement has been made, but wouldn’t comment if a contract has been signed.
“I think it should be in my email. It should already be taken care of by my staff,” says Dhaliwal.
Tetzel sends this release to Global News:
“The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch works hard to help each festival in B.C. – major or minor – have a successful liquor application while ensuring they still have the resources in place to protect the safety of festival goers. In the case of Boonstock, our concerns about a host of issues, including the lack of safety and security planning, is why we have made the decision to not approve their application. This decision is final and is not something we will review on appeal, particularly since there is such a limited time left before the festival is set to begin.
A major part of our concern in rejecting this application is for those people who plan on attending the festival. As of Friday, Boonstock organizers were unable to provide us with proof that they have signed agreements for site security, emergency health services (ambulances), waste management, potable water, tents or firefighting. The specifics of these concerns have been communicated to organizers as well.
With a reported 8,000 people having purchased tickets to the festival, this is much more than a liquor issue. That said, it is clear to us that approving Boonstock’s liquor application would only serve to raise concerns that the safety of festival goers could be threatened.
Our understanding is that other public safety agencies are also taking precautions to prepare for any potential security or safety issues during the three-day festival. RCMP are well-aware and supportive of our decision to reject the liquor application.
Our inspectors have had numerous meetings with Boonstock over the last number of months and have communicated our concerns on multiple occasions. We were hopeful that the advice we provided to organizers during these meetings would have encouraged them to take action earlier to satisfy these concerns, not only for the sake of receiving a liquor licence, but also in order to provide a safe experience for those who plan on attending. Unfortunately this has not happened and that is why we have rejected Boonstock’s liquor application.”
Global News contacted festival organizers, but our phone calls have not been returned in time for the deadline.