“After last year’s festival, we heard loud and clear ‘don’t change a whole lot’ because a lot of the implementations seemed to work,” said Whitecap Entertainment president Jeff Squires.
The implementations came out of public meetings following the 2015 festival, where a large number of residents and business owners shared concerns over crowds getting out of hand, public drunkenness, trespassing and logistics with the festival’s parking.
Some of the improvements have included subcontracting a security group to keep an eye on properties near the festival site and allowing festival-goers to pick up their bracelets in advance.
The festival will also continue using its parking plan from last year, which resulted in reducing the backlog of concert-goers leaving the festival at the end of the night.
The impact of those changes led to a very different atmosphere during last year’s festival, which resulted in only a few residents attending Monday’s meeting.
The one member of the public who spoke at the meeting was business owner Sandi Lowther, who is also president of Tourism Cavendish Beach.
Lowther praised “monumental improvements” to last year’s festival, although noted that with the large volume of concert-goers there will likely still be some issues and asked for more public education regarding trespassing.
“If that could be addressed, it would be lovely — not just trespassing within the campgrounds but neighbouring areas as well,” said Lowther.