BC’s Liquor Control and Licensing Board says there will be no reversal on the decision to deny a liquor license for the Boonstock Music and Arts Festival.
“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,” wrote Ray Tetzel, deputy general manager, compliance and enforcement division for the LCLB, in a press release.
Tetzel also reiterated that the LCLB tried to work with the Boonstock festival, but there were still outstanding issues.
“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,” wrote Tetzel. “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.”
According to Tetzel, by Friday, Boonstock organizers had still not provided proof they had 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,” wrote Tetzel, adding that with a reported 8,000 people having purchased tickets, this is much more than a liquor issue.
“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.”
Tetzel said LCLB inspectors have had numerous meetings with Boonstock organizers over the last number of months and have communicated their 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,” said Tetzel. “Unfortunately this has not happened and that is why we have rejected Boonstock’s liquor application.”
Boonstock festival director Barb Haynes has not responded to a request for comment.