‘A joint effort’
Residents, organizers and RCMP pleased with how country music festival operated this year
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.
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.