New Brunswick

Evolve Festival racing to ready site for July 8 opening

Organizers of the Evolve Festival say despite a tight schedule, their new site in Beersville will be ready for the event to begin on July 8.

Music festival had only 8 weeks to prepare Beersville site after being ousted from Antigonish

Jonas Colter says the Beersville site for the Evolve Festival will be ready for the event to begin on July 8. (CBC)

Despite a tight schedule, the new site of the Evolve Festival in Beersville will be ready for the event to begin on July 8, says the event's executive director. 

Jonas Colter said getting the property north of Moncton ready in just eight weeks has been a challenge.

"So far we've built a couple kilometres of roads. We've probably got another kilometer to go. We've done a lot of ditching, probably a few kilometres of ditching, " said Colter.

Two wells have also been created — one for potable water and showers and the other for potable water for attendees and vendors.

The festival was forced out of Antigonish, N.S., in April when its licence was revoked after Colter missed a deadline to develop a plan for medical coverage at the event.

A 21-year-old man collapsed and died at the festival in 2015. Autopsy results showed the man died of natural causes.

Colter said he's received all of the necessary permits to do the work at the Beersville site.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure confirms it granted access to the property on Girvan Road to the Evolve Music Festival.

Colter says volunteers have been clearing wooded space on the 200-hectare site to create space for hammocks and shade.

The Evolve Festival has purchased 200 hectares of land near Beersville, N.B. for its July event. (CBC)
And they'll be working right up until the last minute.

"Definitely every year we're working right up to the last minute. But this year will be no different." said Colter. 

"There's so much opportunity on this property and years and years to evolve on this property as far as looking forward to putting in perennial gardens and water features and doing a lot of extra work to enhance the experience but this year for sure yeah we'll be working right up until the last minute."

It's estimated the work will cost more than $1 million.

Colter said he's hoping to attract between 4,000 and 5,000 people to the three-day event which begins July 8.

This will be the festival's 17th year and Colter said every year's festival is different.

"I always liken putting on an Evolve Festival to landing a plane and not really knowing how to." he said.

"So there's definitely lots of moving pieces and lots of people to be in touch with."