Festival Double Take

26774874_lSometimes you see a local story echoed in faraway places.  This is because it’s common for communities to similarly endure the learning curve of new rules and new developments.

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?

Author: Doug Ironside RN

Doug is a Registered Nurse (PHN) with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s