Alcohol will not be allowed at the P.E.I. National Park campground at Cavendish during the Cavendish Beach Music Festival the first weekend in July.

The festival is in its fifth year and has proven to be very popular, attracting tens of thousands of people to see acts such as Taylor Swift, George Canyon and Lady Antebellum. Acts this year include Dwight Yoakum and the Dixie Chicks.


With an alcohol ban in place, P.E.I. National Park warden supervisor Roger Steadman is looking for a more family-oriented group of campers during the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. (CBC)

It's three days of country music, fun, and for some, lots of drinking. But the national park has seen enough of the drinking on the festival weekend.

"The weekend of the music festival has seen a marked increase in alcohol-related offences in the campground," said park warden supervisor Roger Steadman.

"Stuff like noise and disturbance, illegal possession of alcohol, intoxicated in public, and also unfortunately some damage and vandalism issues as well."

Steadman said from noontime Thursday, July 4 to noontime on Monday, July 8, it will be illegal to have alcohol within Cavendish campground. There will be an increased RCMP presence in the park to enforce the ban. Parks staff may even search vehicles as campers check in.

Steadman believes with the policy in place the campground will attract different group of campers.

"With all the people that come for that event it's safe to say there are at least several hundred that want the kind of opportunity we can provide — a little quieter, more family-oriented —  for that weekend," he said.


The Cavendish Beach Music Festival attracts tens of thousands of country music fans. (CBC)

Not all campground operators in the Cavendish area have had the same problems with rowdy drinkers during the festival. The KOA Kampground is right next to the music festival grounds, and owner Victor Hryckiw said there have been no alcohol-related problems.

But he said his situation is different than the national park's.

"The bigger the park the harder to control," said Hryckiw.

"If you get a certain percentage of ding dongs … and you've got a larger volume of people, your percentage will be more people, right?"

The alcohol ban is not a new idea in the national park. The park used to ban alcohol at all its campgrounds through early July, up until a few years ago.

For mobile device users: Is Parks Canada making the right move with its alcohol ban during the Cavendish Beach Music Festival?