Booze sponsors drop Boonstock

Lack of liquor licence has seen at least two firms pull out of event

Screenshot of some of Boonstock's sponsors

Screenshot of some of Boonstock's sponsors

Failing to obtain a liquor licence has cost Boonstock a handful of major sponsors.

A spokesman for Big Surf Beer confirmed the company would be “unable to execute” its sponsorship of the three-day music festival in Penticton, after the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch refused to sanction the event due to safety concerns.

Elliot McKerr wouldn’t discuss specifics of the Kelowna-based brewery’s ill-fated arrangement with Boonstock, but said such sponsorships typically see companies pay the event promoter to be an exclusive supplier.

“We would have activated our brand on site through branding the beer gardens and having some cool activation items for customers there,” he said, adding beer would have been supplied through regular Liquor Distribution Branch channels so he’s unsure how much would have been at the event.

“Unfortunately, Big Surf is unable to execute our sponsorship due to the fact that there’s no liquor licence available,” McKerr said.

Other alcoholic beverage companies listed on Boonstock’s website as sponsors, like Bacardi Canada, Jameson Irish Whisky and Corby Spirit and Wine Limited, also confirmed they’ve backed out.

“We had these  relationships for seven or eight years, some of them nine. They are great partners of ours,” Boonstock president Colin Kobza told a press conference Wednesday.

He declined to state publicly how much revenue the cancelled sponsorships would cost the event, but allowed that “it’s devastating to lose those guys this year.”

Operations manager Barb Haynes pointed out that other sponsors not in the business of alcoholic beverages are still on board.

“We have lots of other ones,” she said.