Boonstock music festival loses Bacardi sponsorship

The controversial Boonstock Music Festival, set to open in Penticton in two days, has lost a major sponsor, because it will have no liquor licence.

Rum company pulls out over lack of liquor licence

Bacardi, a major sponsor of Boonstock 2013, had sponsored a stage for the 2014 event, but has since pulled out because the festival failed to get a liquor licence. (@Boonstock/Twitter)

The controversial Boonstock music festival, set to open in Penticton in two days, has lost a major sponsor, because it will have no liquor licence.

Ridley Doolittle, an assistant brand manager with Bacardi Canada, says it didn't have much choice.

One of our core brand pillars is social responsibility, and while we’re huge supporters of live music events, for obvious reasons, we can only support events that have the proper licensing in place," he told CBC News.

"I think all parties are disappointed that the liquor license wasn’t able to come through and on a personal note I would have loved to have been out at the event. It looks like an amazing line-up this weekend."

On Friday, the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch announced it was turning down the Boonstock Music Festival's application due to unaddressed safety concerns.

A massive crowd turned out for Boonstock 2013, in what would be its final year in Gibbons, Alta. The 10-year-old music and arts festival has relocated to Penticton, B.C., for 2014. (@Boonstock/Twitter)

Nevertheless the organizers have said the festival will open Thursday with the first act hitting the stage at 7 p.m. PT.

This is the first year it has been held in Penticton.

For the past nine years it was held in Gibbons, Alta, north of Edmonton, but last year, neighbourhood backlash over alleged littering, trespassing, vandalism and other incidents that required police involvement, prompted local officials to vote down allowing the massive event to continue in Sturgeon County.

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan

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