‘A joint ef­fort’

Res­i­dents, or­ga­niz­ers and RCMP pleased with how coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val op­er­ated this year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY MITCH MACDON­ALD Mitchell.macdon­ald@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/Mitch_PEI

Peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing in the Cavendish re­gion have a lot to be proud of th­ese days, says the pres­i­dent of the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

Jeff Squires, who is also CEO of White­cap En­ter­tain­ment, made the state­ment while pro­vid­ing an up­date on how this year’s fes­ti­val went dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing Wed­nes­day evening at the North Rustico Lions Club.

“We have a lot to be proud off and this com­mu­nity has a lot to be proud of,” said Squires. “We have tremen­dous mo­men­tum here in the tourism in­dus­try on P.E.I…. I think con­tribut­ing to that mo­men­tum has been the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.”

The meet­ing was pri­mar­ily an op­por­tu­nity for the pub­lic to share com­ments, con­cerns and ques­tions about this year’s fes­ti­val.

There has been lit­tle neg­a­tive feed­back in the three weeks since the fes­ti­val, es­pe­cially when com­pared to a meet­ing two years ago that saw res­i­dents and tourism op­er­a­tors raise a num­ber of con­cerns largely re­gard­ing the be­hav­iour of fes­ti­val at­ten­dees.

“We took all those sug­ges­tions (and) we put our best foot for­ward,” said Squires, adding that feed­back came from the RCMP, the P.E.I. Liquor Con­trol Com­mis­sion, coun­cil and those liv­ing and work­ing in the re­sort mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“I think it was a joint ef­fort between all in­volved.”

This year’s fes­ti­val saw 23,000 tick­eted at­ten­dees on its best night, as well as about 1,500 em­ploy­ees, vol­un­teers and mu­si­cians.

RCMP of­fi­cer Leanne But­ler said po­lice were also pleased with how the fes­ti­val went.

One ma­jor change this year from a po­lice per­spec­tive was adding flag­gers at the fes­ti­val en­trance for the en­tire day, in­stead of just dur­ing the end of con­certs.

She said next year RCMP will also be adding flag­gers at the Cavendish board­walk cross­way.

“It’s taken years to build up to this. That’s a tes­ta­ment to ev­ery­body who’s worked on it over the years and the feed­back from the pub­lic,” said

But­ler. “It re­ally is work­ing well.”

But­ler said this year also saw the fewest num­ber of peo­ple ar­rested and jailed from the fes­ti­val.

“I think it was less than a dozen peo­ple over the week­end that we had to bring in,” said But­ler.

Squires said or­ga­niz­ers will con­tinue look­ing at how to fur­ther im­prove on traf­fic exit strate­gies and li­cens­ing strate­gies.

Res­i­dents who were un­able to at­tend the meet­ing can mail, email or fax com­ments to the mu­nic­i­pal of­fice un­til Wed­nes­day, Aug. 9.

MITCH MACDON­ALD/THE GUARDIAN

White­cap En­ter­tain­ment CEO Jeff Squires, right, gives an up­date to Cavendish area res­i­dents on how the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val op­er­ated this year. Next to Squires is, from right, re­sort mu­nic­i­pal­ity chair Matthew Jel­ley, chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Brenda MacDon­ald and RCMP of­fi­cer Leanne But­ler.

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