Dusty, a lack of water and a few other complaints swirled around when attendees were asked about their thoughts on Boonstock Music and Arts Festival.
But, overall, they seemed to all agree there was a certain positive energy shared amongst festival goers that was contagious. While it is the 10th anniversary of the festival, and the first time it has been held in Penticton since moving from Gibbons, Alta., Wojtek Tomalik from Edmonton is a first-timer. He said despite being disappointed with the lack of accessible water and hearing about a 24-year-old woman who overdosed, his experience had been a mostly positive one.
“Beyond all this, that horrible incident aside, I have been to other festivals and I have never seen energy this awesome,” he said on Saturday while taking in events on Skaha Beach. “People, organizers, everybody are so relaxed and awesome. There are definitely some logistical issues.”
Boonstock organizers said the bulk of the estimated 8,000 ticket-holders came from Alberta and the Lower Mainland, but Patrick Schedler and Monique Schnieder had a little further distance to travel. The pair planned a summer vacation in Canada from Austria and heard about Boonstock on the Internet.
“The headliners are all quite good so that is what attracted us,” said Schedler. “The campground is dusty, but I guess it is OK. It’s also not too bad with the no alcohol thing but I guess some things could be done better, like the organization is lacking.”
Both said they are having fun in Penticton hanging out on the beaches and would potentially choose to visit the city again if they come back to Canada.
Sarah Moorhouse and Brad Maki came from Vernon to take in the three-day festival because they liked the variety of musical styles in the lineup. They opted to camp at Barefoot Beach Resort, which is a neighbouring property to the festival grounds, and based on reviews of the Boonstock campground that they have heard, they said it was the right choice for them.
“Most people we have from said they would not stay in the Boonstock campground again. They said they are having a terrible experience with bathrooms, dust and other things,” said Maki.
Moorhouse said she also saw some issues with people not staying hydrated on Friday night during the City and Colour set.
“I saw a girl pass out because she had no water, but I have to say the security and medical people were right on top of it. They came in right away and backed people up and got her out of there,” said Moorhouse. “I’m glad we chose to camp at Barefoot, and because of that, it has been a lot of fun to come to Penticton and I would definitely come back if it happens again next year.”