British Columbia

No booze sales at Boonstock in Penticton: B.C. liquor control

A major music festival scheduled for next weekend in B.C.'s Okanagan that has Bacardi as one of its main sponsors has been told it can't sell alcohol.

Music and arts festival that ran for 9 years in Gibbons, Alta., has relocated to B.C.'s Okanagan

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)

A major music festival scheduled for next weekend in B.C.'s Okanagan that has Bacardi as one of its main sponsors has been told it can't sell alcohol.

British Columbia's Liquor Control and Licensing Branch has denied the Boonstock Music and Arts Festival a liquor licence, citing unaddressed safety concerns.

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)

Ray Tetzel, deputy general manager of the branch's compliance and enforcement division, said in a written statement the agency will not consider a licence application "when security cannot be planned or communicated adequately."

"This is a new event to the region and that’s why public safety officials worked hard to try and assist Boonstock organizers, providing them with guidance on what gaps needed to be filled to ensure that any potential risks were addressed," Tetzel said.

"Unfortunately these risks remain outstanding.”

Rebooting in B.C.

Boonstock, which is now in its 10th year, was held for its first nine years north of Edmonton in Gibbons, Alta.

In 2013, 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.

The 2014 festival, which is being held July 31 to Aug. 3 over the B.C. Day long weekend, is located within walking distance of Skaha Lake. The list of headliners includes Five Alarm Funk, Mother Mother, Awolnation, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Armin Van Buuren.

"Hot weather, water, and good vibes are what the new Boonstock Music Festival stand for," organizers say on the festival's website.

Following the release of the B.C. liquor board's denial of its liquor application, Boonstock organizers posted a Facebook message saying the decision was a bureaucratic hurdle they plan to overcome.

With files from The Canadian Press and the CBC's Stephanie Mercier


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.