Out­rage in Cavendish

Res­i­dents, busi­nesses gather to fume about Cavendish Beach

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY NIGEL ARMSTRONG THE GUARDIAN

Welcome to Cavendish, new home for binge drink­ing, vom­it­ing, uri­nat­ing, tres­pass­ing, brawl­ing va­ca­tions, or fam­ily fun and sand, your choice.

It’s a choice res­i­dents and busi­nesses of the area don’t want visi­tors to make as they weigh the pros and cons of the an­nual Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

The com­mu­nity is so tense there is talk of putting an mora­to­rium on the event un­til se­cu­rity is­sues can be re­solved, said Matthew Jel­ley, chair of the Re­sort Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Stan­ley Bridge, Hope River, Bayview, Cavendish, and North Rus­tico.

It hosted a public meet­ing Tues­day in North Rus­tico to de­brief on this year’s events that ran from Thurs­day, July 9 to Sun­day, July 12.

While writ­ten com­ments are still welcome, some 25 peo­ple spoke their mind at the meet­ing, telling tales of wild drug and al­co­hol-in­duced be­hav­iour and a com­plete fail­ure to gen­er­ate busi­ness for the Cavendish area.

“The main goal for peo­ple com­ing to the con­cert is to get to the gate,” said Heather Peters, gen­eral manger of Pi­atto Pizze­ria in the new Avon­lea Vil­lage. “Once they get in there, they stay, so we didn’t see any sales through the week­end.”

She heard that same story all over the Cavendish busi­ness dis­trict. The anger is there, said Jel­ley. “We are talk­ing about public in­tox­i­ca­tion, we are talk­ing about lurid be­hav­iour, we are talk­ing about uri­na­tion on prop­erty, we are talk­ing about van­dal­ism and dam­age, talk­ing about ex­ces­sive dust and ve­hi­cle dam­age, we are talk­ing about theft, prop­erty in­tru­sions, we are talk­ing about sig­nif­i­cant burns suf­fered by some­body that was heav­ily in­tox­i­cated, we are talk­ing about a par­a­lyza­tion be­low the neck,” said Jel­ley of the re­ports com­ing in from the days of the fes­ti­val.

Mike Duffy spoke, of­fer­ing a so­lu­tion of a per-ticket sur­tax to go to­wards bet­ter se­cu­rity.

“Ev­ery­one is in busi­ness to make money, and that’s fine, but not when you are do­ing it at the ex­pense of res­i­dents and the com­mu­nity rep­u­ta­tion,” said Ge­orge Clark Dun­ning who lives next to the con­cert site.

“Ev­ery­one has to sit down right now, cool their jets and work to­wards solv­ing the is­sues that were brought up at the meet­ing, or it has to be shut down,” said Dun­ning.

“There is a limit to how much the com­mu­nity and op­er­a­tors can tol­er­ate,” said Jel­ley.

“It’s not just about set­ting more rules. It’s about set­ting a true part­ner­ship and them buy­ing in.

“The long-term vi­a­bil­ity of this fes­ti­val is one that has a happy com­mu­nity and a safe public and per­haps just di­alling down a few of the el­e­ments to en­sure its long-term suc­cess.”

NIGEL ARMSTRONG/THE GUARDIAN

Matthew Jel­ley, chair of the Re­sort Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Stan­ley Bridge, Hope River, Bayview, Cavendish, and North Rus­tico stands with the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val grounds be­hind him Wed­nes­day. A meet­ing hosted by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity Tues­day drew an an­gry crowd, frus­trated at prob­lems caused by events on the fes­ti­val grounds that ran from Thurs­day, July 9 to Sun­day, July 12.

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