A haze of dust lingered over the campground at Boonstock as festival goers began to stir Saturday morning.

A haze of dust lingered over the campground at Boonstock as festival goers began to stir Saturday morning.

Update: 17 people sent to Penticton hospital from Boonstock

B.C. Ambulance now says it had 22 calls to the site of the music festival as of early Saturday

Update: 1 p.m.

Paramedics had responded to 22 calls at Boonstock as of Saturday at 1 a.m., according to B.C. Ambulance Service spokeswoman Kelsey Carwithen.

She said details about the nature of the calls would have to come from RCMP, who have not yet responded to requests for comment.

Update: 12 p.m.

Interior Health spokeswoman Grace Kucey said 17 people were transferred by ambulance from Boonstock to Penticton Regional Hospital between 7 a.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

“The hospital is managing patient flow very well,” said Kucey, who had no details available on the medical nature of the cases.

Other emergency services and Boonstock organizers have not yet to responded to requests for comment Saturday.


Posted 9 a.m.

Aside from the music, the first night of the Boonstock music festival seems to have been a relatively quiet one for local first responders, although the same can’t be said for taxi drivers.

The daily incident report from the regional fire dispatch centre shows Penticton Fire Rescue was called out just nine times between Friday and Saturday morning, compared to 17 call-outs for the same period last week.

The service didn’t immediately return a call for comment Saturday, nor did RCMP or the B.C. Ambulance Service.

The incident report shows just three calls during the overnight period, all medical first responses: Friday at 11:17 p.m. at Yorkton Avenue and Hemlock Street at the south end of Penticton; Saturday at 12:28 a.m. at Heron Drive and Humming Bird Lane at the Red Wing Resort; and Saturday at 4:11 a.m. downtown near Churchill Avenue and Brunswick Street.

Meanwhile, taxi companies drove flat out to serve the influx of approximately 8,000 festival goers.

“I’ve been doing this eight years now, and it’s the busiest I’ve ever been,” Penticton Taxi dispatcher Bob Ward said Saturday morning, adding the Friday night rush outpaced even New Year’s Eve.

“I had 40 calls holding, 50 calls holding.”

He said the company, one of two in the city, is running with a full complement of 11 cars straight through until Tuesday.

“A lot of (fares from Boonstock) are going to Walmart for supplies,” Ward said.  “A lot of them go down to the Lakeside Casino, to the local bars.”

Comments on the Boonstock Facebook page are split between those praising the music so far and those raising concerns about disorganization and dust, among other things.

Tonight’s headliners are Wolfmother and Rise Against.

The three-day festival closes Sunday night with the Grammy Award-winning duo of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.


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