EDM festival organizer: event has new home away from Kamloops

After the Thompson-Nicola Regional District went public with its concerns about the "unsanctioned" Electric Love Music Festival, an organizer says they've had a new location for some time and blasted “misinformation” from the district.

Festival has moved to the Cheam Fishing Village near Agassiz

A photo from the 2015 edition of the Electric Love Music Festival shows a performer and a dancer with a lit-up hula hoop. (Electric Love Music Festival/Facebook)

An organizer of the Electric Love Music Festival say it has moved its event away from the Kamloops area due to permitting concerns.

Instead, the festival will now be held in the Agassiz area at the Cheam Fishing Village.

"The road's paved all the way there, so it means we can be a larger festival," organizer Dennis Nukina told Radio Westhost Audrey McKinnon. "In a lot of ways, it's positive."

Last week, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District raised concerns about the festival's location of Vidette, a remote community 60 kilometres northwest of Kamloops where the TNRD said it would have been difficult for emergency vehicles to reach.

Nukina called that "misinformation,"claiming it was "almost like a smear campaign."

"They made it sound like people's safety wasn't a first priority for our company, which it is," he said. "We told them all along we were moving. They just didn't seem to want to listen to us."

New location in works since February

TNRD director of development services Regina Sadilkova said the organizers told the district on Friday it had abandoned its plans for the Kamloops area, yet as of Friday, the event's Facebook page still listed "Kamloops area" as the location.

Further, Sadilkova says, when TNRD staff visited the proposed location earlier in June they found "a great deal of activity."

"Earth moving, grading, road building — it looked like they were getting ready for a festival," she said.

Nukina says what staff saw was Nukina's wife and others clearing grazing land.

"We might have other events there like our anniversary or private events," Nukina said.

Colourful performers are shown in this photo from the 2015 edition of the Electric Love Music Festival. (Thompson-Nicola Regional District)

Nukina says they knew they wouldn't be able to use the Vidette location in February but didn't follow up with authorities because the event was moving out of TNRD jurisdiction.

He says organizers couldn't tell the TNRD where they were going because they were worried TNRD officials would call up proposed locations and cause concerns, fouling negotiations.

Further, he says, organizers needed to have a final location locked up before they could go public with it for the sake of contracts with artists, which he says need to be explicit about the location.

The Electric Love Music Festival is set for the B.C. day long weekend at the Cheam Fishing Village near Agassiz.

With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Electric Love Music Festival has new home away from Kamloops