Oro-Medonte Denies Permission for Ever After Fest at Burl’s Creek

OK for event planned for August 11-14 rejected due to ‘significant concern’ from community and partner agencies; Frustrated ticket buyer calls event “patchy”

A four-day electronic music festival that had outgrown its original Kitchener venue had hoped to find a last-minute new home at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte Township. But the municipality zapped the event by refusing to issue a permit.

Organizers had hoped that the Ever After Music Festival – which focuses on electronic dance music and offers “fully immersive” camping experiences – will take place from Thursday 11/14.

However, with less than two weeks to go until the event was scheduled to go ahead, organizers were unable to obtain municipal approval for the required special permit for events after city councilors rejected it, citing concerns about the festival’s operational schedule.

Organizers looked for a new venue after it outgrew Bingemans in Kitchener. They had hoped to take it to Burl’s Creek in Oro-Medonte.

Brianna Cloud, 18, who bought tickets to the festival back in March, said she’s contacted the organizers multiple times via direct message on Instagram but all her messages have gone unread.

“A lot of people I know who have bought tickets are saying the same thing. I haven’t received my bracelets or anything either, and to me it seems like they never planned on sending them,” said Cloud, who had planned for the festival to be nearly 300 kilometers from her home in Lambton Shores to Oro- Medonte traveled.

“This festival has been canceled for years and it’s all kind of patchy with how everything is being handled,” she added.

Festival organizers have not responded to emails requesting comments on the fate of the festival.

A staff report submitted to the local council on July 6 noted that event organizers expected the festival to attract about 15,000 people a day.

However, Shawn Binns, the community’s director of operations and community services, noted that organizers said attendance was uncertain as 10,000 tickets were sold from the 2020 event – which was canceled due to the pandemic – to the year’s event were transferred in 2022.

At its July 21 meeting, the Oro-Medonte Council formally voted to deny permission for special events on Binns’ advice.

In order to receive special event approval from the community, organizers must develop operational plans that outline aspects such as site layout, emergency management, food and beverage, traffic management, building and structural plans, fire safety, security, waste management, and community impact.

As of Tuesday afternoon (August 2), the event website was still selling tickets ranging from $135 for a one-day pass to $345 for a three-day VIP experience.

Event organizers took to Twitter on July 27 and announced that they were aware of the community’s denial of permission for special events, adding that there is an “appeal process that they are currently going through, as well as evaluating other options.” , to ensure that (Ever After Music Festival ) takes place in 2022.”

“As of now, festival planning is progressing as planned and we will update all adventurers as soon as we have more information,” the organizers said in a tweet.

According to Oro-Medonte municipality spokeswoman Jenny Legget, there is no such appeal process. She also says that discussions are ongoing and the organizers are aware of the community’s issues.

“Over the past few months, community staff and agency partners have… communicated with festival officials to provide logistical support to facilitate the development of an acceptable festival operating plan required for the issuance of a special events permit. ‘ Legget said in an email.

These “agency partners” include the Ontario Provincial Police, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, as well as city law enforcement and local fire officials. All expressed concern about the lack of planning by the organizers of the event and lack of community support for the event.

A July 20 letter from Binns also noted that community staff have been in communication with the festival promoter over the past few months, trying to facilitate operational planning for special events needed to obtain the permit, but ultimately not satisfied was information they had received.

“The current state of the Ever After Music Festival’s operational planning has not addressed the concerns and requirements related to adequate safety, building/structure, traffic management, fire safety, community impact, food and beverage, and medical and emergency plans.” Binns noted in his Letter to, but also pointed out the time pressure and the “considerable concern of all partner agencies and interest groups about the current status of the planning and organization of the project executing agency”.

The community’s charter for special events weighs the economic and tourism benefits of such events against the potential negative impacts and risks to ensure they are properly managed, Binns said.

“Given the current status of the Ever After Music Festival’s operational planning and time constraints prior to the event, community and agency stakeholders are currently unable to recommend the issuance of a special event permit,” he said.

The operations plan, which Binns said was received on July 15, lacked the necessary details to implement the traffic management plan, including parking, traffic management police/parking lot resources, pedestrian traffic management, and issuance of the required Department of Transportation (MTO). burglary permit.

This isn’t the first time a major music festival planned for the region has been hit by uncertainty at 11am. 2019 a four day concert in the Edenvale area with the likes of Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Nickelback and Lynyrd Skynyrd was abruptly canceled less than two weeks before the event.

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