With 7,000 weekend passes sold and the concert site now marked on Google Maps, the lead organizer of the Boonstock Music Festival says everything is on schedule for the massive summer event.
“We are having a festival on Aug. 1, 2 and 3. There will be a concert here,” Barb Haynes assured a crowd of about 20 people who gathered Friday for a tour of the grounds near the Penticton airport.
She said backers of the festival, which includes headliners like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, City and Colour and Rise Against, have so far spent $200,000 on staffing and site preparation.
“There are also contracts for a ton of supplies,” Haynes said, adding she’s still seeking partnerships with all manner of local vendors.
The festival site, equal in area to roughly 57 football fields, is owned by locatee families who are part of the Penticton Indian Band, and is completely fenced. Much of the land has been cleared, levelled and replanted with grass seed, although some pockets of trees and vegetation have been left in place.
Haynes said she was unaware of concerns about destruction of wildlife habitat raised in recent letters to the editors of local newspapers.
“There’s lots and lots of wildlife out here,” she said.
“I don’t know how many people were out here and had that data in the first place.”
Festival data of note includes:
— $500,000 investment in radio advertising in Alberta alone
— 7,000 of 8,500 weekend passes sold
— 1,700 campsites booked, with another 300 more expected to be taken
— 500 portable toilets to be supplied and maintained by two local companies
— 75 portable showers rented
— 475 volunteers registered
Bulk drinking water will be trucked in and provided free of charge. Organizers have also applied for liquor licences for two beer gardens: a general admission site with 1,000 patrons and a VIP area with 750 people.
Andrew Jakubeit, the lone member of Penticton city council to attend Friday’s tour, said he was impressed with preparations.
“I think it’s going to be a nice site, and if we can contain the crowds here, then it’s not really a concern for Penticton,” he said.
“And if they have the shuttles bringing people into town so the community gets some benefit and we get to expose Penticton in a fun, friendly way for three days, maybe these people come back another time.”
While the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce has officially endorsed the event, city council has yet to do so. Jakubeit thinks that could come next month following a formal presentation from Boonstock.
“With 7,000 tickets sold, it’s happening,” he said. “So now how do we leverage that and embrace it and create a positive experience for everyone?”
The public is invited to an open house with Boonstock organizers on July 8 from 6-7:30 p.m. upstairs at the Penticton and Wine Country Visitor Centre.