Edmonton city councillors are allowing a massive two-day rave to go ahead next month as long as promoters come up with a strict security plan to address safety concerns raised by police.
"If those issues aren't satisfied, we would not allow the event to go ahead," said Scott Mackie, manager of the city's planning division.
The Elements Music Festival is to take place on April 27th and 28th at the Northlands Expo Centre.
The event, billed by promoter Boodang Productions as the largest rave in western Canada, will run from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day and is expected to attract 24,000 people.
However, a city report shows that police and city officials are worried about security planned for the event.
"Early conversations with Northlands indicated that Edmonton Police Service resources for the event will be approximately 30-35 each day, which is LESS than what was on site at the Shaw (Conference Centre) for 5,000 patrons," the report states.
Marcus Gurske from Boodang Productions says his company wants to work with police.
"This was not on our radar until EPS and the city brought it to us," he said. "So we want to be responsible and be proactive and work with them to ensure that doesn't happen."
Drug use, sexual assaults a concern
Police are concerned about the scale of drug use at raves and what happens afterwards. Staff at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton say they get twice as many calls after these events.
"There is a clear correlation between electronic events and drug facilitated sexual assaults," the report says.
Boodang was told to submit a security plan to the city by mid-April. Sgt. Nicole Chapdelaine, from the city's public safety compliance team, says the promoter should pay for extra police officers.
"We don't think that the citizens of Edmonton need to pay for these costs for these kinds of events in order for them to be policed properly," she said.
"Not only at the event but before the event and after the event because we have to remember that at 3:00 am there's 12,000 people walking out of Northlands. Where are they going to go? How do they get home?"