Close to home, we have Burl’s Creek, a big mass of land used for events, camping, and other activities. Recently, the property was purchased by new owners, and immediately they got ambitious. They acquired additional adjacent lands, and in an effort to put them to use, they promptly made way for two major music festivals for this summer, starting with the Way Home festival, and later Boots and Hearts.
In case you don’t live around Orillia, Barrie, or Oro-Medonte, let me tell you that there has been no shortage of controversy with local residents doing whatever they can to kibosh or limit these festivals. Coverage has been steady in the local paper and online.
Among local residents, there seems to be concern in regards to noise, traffic, garbage, vandalism, and safety. Yet, the unmentioned menace is alcohol, especially as recent changes to the Liquor Licence Act allows for more liberal rules for festivals, dispensing with traditional beer tents and allowing for much larger licensed areas.
Let’s face it – as people consume alcohol, their willingness to engage in rowdy or risky behavior increases. And this concern about festivals is reverberating in places all over – such in British Columbia, where the same loosened rules have created similar concern, and are creating debate about risk versus economic benefits. Mass gatherings with liberal access to booze seem to be imparting apprehension – are similar things happening in your community?