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City yanks permits for VIII Fest in Gage Park

The city of Hamilton has revoked permits for a three-day music festival in Gage Park because of noise bylaw violations, a city spokesperson says.

A portion of Thursday's show was moved to the Casbah, without headliners Badbadnotgood

The city cancelled VIII Fest's festival permits because of a noise bylaw violation, a spokesperson says. (VIII Fest/Facebook)

The city of Hamilton has revoked permits for a three-day music festival in Gage Park because of noise bylaw violations, a city spokesperson says.

VIII fest was running in Gage Park for its third year, with a slate of electronic, jazz, and hip hop performers over three days from Wednesday to Friday.

However some concertgoers showed up at the park Thursday night to find no music, and crews tearing down the show's equipment.

City spokesperson Ann Lamanes told CBC News that organizers contravened the city's noise bylaw by playing music past 10 p.m. on Wednesday night and setting up a second stage that wasn't approved by the city's special events committee.

"On Wednesday night [municipal law enforcement] and Councillor Green's office received numerous complaints about the noise level," Lamanes said in an email.

"As the event was in violation of their [special event] requirements, approval was revoked and the park permit cancelled."

But event organizer Joshua Moran says the reason the festival went late on Wednesday night is because the city double booked Gage Park with a film crew, which meant bands started later.

"The city double booked our permit for night one, which resulted in a delayed three hour start – 7 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.," Moran said. "Their three hours over our 40 minutes was given no leniency and resulted in them cancelling our entire show."

"It's incredibly unfair. Our brand, who openly advertises their mission statement to help develop local artists, has now been tarnished."

But Lamanes says no double booking took place.

"No truth in that whatsoever. The film did not impact the event and the film crew were removed and shot a few final scenes that were approved and cleared by the concert event organizer and parks," she said. "For the organizer to imply their event was affected is inaccurate and the organizer didn't even show up on site until after 4 p.m. 

"He never communicated with parks and his vendors were arriving throughout the day and no one was there to greet them or help set-up. The movie crew was gone before any of the music was to begin."

Moran says that isn't true, and that the film crew stayed much later, impacting the show and set up. He says there have been ongoing issues with the city's special events advisory team since the festival started in its first year, and that the process has been difficult from the get go.

He says he was just acting with the festival's musicians best interests at heart, and was trying to make sure they got to play.

Hamilton band Hoalin Munk, who were to play the event, only found out on Facebook that it had been cancelled and moved.

On Facebook, the event organizers said they are planning legal action, but Lamanes hasn't "received any word" of that.

A portion of Thursday's show was moved to the Casbah, without headliners Badbadnotgood.

Moran said he is working on moving Friday night's portion of the event to the Casbah as well, "conformation pending."

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