Music festival finds new venue for shows

The 2011 Sound of Summer Music Festival will take place on the Penticton Indian Reserve.

  • Jul. 26, 2011 8:00 a.m.

The 2011 Sound of Summer Music Festival will take place on the Penticton Indian Reserve.

Festival organizers Get Loud Entertainment have struck a deal with Nicholas Kruger and his family to hold the event next to Skaha Meadows golf course on Old Airport Road.

The two-day music festival, featuring acts such as Avicii, Flo Rida and Lupe Fiasco Aug. 13 and 14, was originally set to take place at Okanagan Lake Park but has been re-located after Penticton council voted not to issue an events permit because of concerns from RCMP Inspector Brad Haugli that their logistic and safety plan was “unsatisfactory.”

However, Kruger said after working with GLE to draft a security plan for his site, which has hosted music festivals before in the 90s, he is confident the event can be held there in a safe manner.

“We looked at their safety plan and I have talked to the chief of police about it,” said Kruger. “(Haugli) has expressed his concerns and he went into a little more detail to describe them to me. So we looked at enhancing the safety plan.”

Kruger said in negotiating with GLE, the band insisted on having a higher ratio of security personnel to concert attendees.

There will now be close to 50 licensed security personnel working at the venue at a time.

“We want to enhance the security in the reserve community as well as at the festival,” said Kruger. “We talked about setting up a road check on the highway to make sure nobody is drinking and driving. And we are going to be providing shuttle services.

“We have a larger venue than the one at Okanagan Lake Park so we can accommodate a lot of the concerns. We’re a little bit away from communities, so (noise-pollution-wise) we are not as close to anybody as they were downtown. We also have a larger area for parking, which was also a concern.”

The site, he said, will offer overnight parking with security, camping facilities and food vendors.

“It is a great spot to hold the festival,” Kruger said. “I hope this will be a good thing for Penticton.”

According to GLE director Landon Hamilton, the company has already sold over 1,000 tickets to the festival, with single-day $69 tickets and $119 weekend passes available at or in stores at Freeride Boardshop and Underground Clothing. Although tickets prices are slated to go up Wednesday at midnight.

Hamilton said council’s decision to withhold the permit at the last minute has slowed down sales as well as jeopardized the festival’s lineup.

“It just came pretty much out of nowhere and it was really not based on my safety plan at all,” Hamilton said. “My safety plan is flawless … I listed everything in the plan and went over it with the entire protective services and they couldn’t point out a problem in it. They just kept bringing up the riots.”

Haugli told the Western News last week that Vancouver was not used as a “reference” when assessing the Sound of Summer plan.

Despite the costs and frustration having to move the festival, Hamilton pledged that the show will go on this year and for many years to come, just not at Okanagan Lake Park.

“I am not ever going to look at using the city land again,” he said. “This land is better suited for what we want to do anyway and next year I will have way more time to prepare it.”

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