Last weekend’s Sound of Summer music festival was cancelled. Although many people wanted it to happen, including myself, after all the negative publicity about it supposedly being cancelled after a venue change I guess it was inevitable.
As a summer student working downtown for the summer I just want to say that the vibe in Penticton this summer was a lot mellower. By that I mean the number of tourists visiting the Okanagan was substantially less, especially in a prime spending group; those between 20 and 30. Penticton is a wonderful place to live as well as retire.
However, the senior age bracket does not keep the economy moving, and if citizens of Penticton want to have the public and private services we have, we need to invite money to be invested here. All said and done, I can assume the local businesses still did OK so far this summer, but did not thrive as is the history here in Peach City.
I think that is due to the fact that there was not enough support from the City of Penticton and the greater Penticton community in terms of event planning within the city this summer. The fact that Kelowna can host an event like Centre of Gravity, selling over 15,000 tickets, bring people from all around Canada and the U.S. and fuel millions of dollars into the economy and Penticton can’t even host a bikini contest is outrageous. Fact of the matter is that we need to bring new and exciting events into this city, whether that means attracting experienced promoters/event planners or we need to help build events from the ground up, offering support to new and upcoming promoters/event planners.
Although Sound of Summer would have brought a lot of good talent here, I think perhaps it was unreasonable to have such a large event right off the bat. Hopefully someone will step up the plate next year to host an event that can keep everyone happy: city council, the police and the seniors alike — so we can continue to attract the tourism dollars to keep our great city thriving.