New music festival moves to downtown Charlottetown
Campers refunded, festival will now be an all-ages event
A music festival that was supposed to take place at the Route 6 Ranch in Oyster Bed Bridge, P.E.I., will now take place in downtown Charlottetown at Confederation Landing Park.
The Sundaze Music and Art Festival officials announced the relocation Thursday in a news release.
Festival organizers and landowners were notified by the provincial government that rezoning was required for a music festival to take place at the planned site, says festival organizer Sam Murphy.
The area was home to the Raceway Park before being sold in 2018. That means the land would have to be rezoned from stock car racing to allow a music festival.
"The process to rezone takes us pretty much up to the week of the festival with no guarantee that we would actually be able to do the festival in Oyster Bed," said Murphy.
He didn't want to risk the festival being rejected, so the decision was made to move the festival to Charlottetown.
Residents in the Oyster Bed area were vocal about complaints surrounding the festival and started a petition. Once the complaints started, Murphy said the province must have looked into zoning more.
"Up until this point we were told there were no permits needed — it was unincorporated land for commercial use," Murphy said.
Norma Ford is one of the residents in Oyster Bed who started a petition to stop the festival from being held at the race track.
She said she was concerned about loud music and safety, and is glad the festival will no longer be held in the area.
"We had no idea what was going to take place at the Sundaze Festival."
The community only found out about the concert series through Facebook, she said.
Residents in the area knew the drag strip would be used for overflow camping for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, Ford said, but knew nothing about Sundaze.
Ford and other residents got 225 signatures from people who didn't want the festival in the area. She said she still wants to meet with government or event organizers to discuss because residents want to know what "might take place in the future."
Some changes to the festival
Concertgoers can expect the same lineup on the same dates, Murphy said. It says it will feature T-Pain, the X Ambassadors, Cheat Codes and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Though some things will stay the same, others will change.
Murphy said camping is also out the window and that it is now an all-ages event.
Those who have purchased camping packages will receive an automatic refund, but it could take up to five to seven business days to show up on credit card statements, Murphy said.
Charlottetown is welcoming the concert.
"Sundaze works well with the city's goal to expand event hosting" Mayor Philip Brown said in a news release. "Cultural festivals are an important part of our offering in Charlottetown."
More P.E.I. news
With files from Stephanie vanKampen