Big Time Out 2011 in Royston goes smoothly at Plan B location

The creative director of the Big Time Out is using words like "mellowest," "loveliest," "uplifting" and "positive" to describe this year's scaled-down festival.

After weeks of uncertainty, the two-day festival found a new home this year at Ash Berry Farm on Royston Road, just beyond of the Village of Cumberland boundaries.

The creative director of the Big Time Out is using words like “mellowest,” “loveliest,” “uplifting” and “positive” to describe this year’s scaled-down festival.

After weeks of uncertainty, the two-day festival found a new home this year at Ash Berry Farm on Royston Road, just beyond of the Village of Cumberland boundaries.

Farm owners Don and Louisa McClellan gave up about three acres of their strawberry farm to the Big Time Out Friday night and Saturday after Cumberland council heeded an RCMP recommendation to deny the Cumberland Village Works application to hold the festival at Village Park due to security concerns.

Creative director vig Schulman says this year’s Big Time Out reminded them of their first festival in a lot of ways.

“From my perspective, it was the loveliest thing we’ve done since 2005, which was the first one,” he said. “It was the mellowest event by far. Artistically, it was stunning. The feeling of this event and the layout … it created a very warm, organic vibe.”

Louisa McClellan says seeing their farm turned into a music festival was “pretty unbelievable.”

“It was just fun,” she said. “My kids just had so much fun. I think considering the last-minute change in venues … I think it was pretty amazing.”

But while having the festival was fun, McClellan does think it should have been in Cumberland. She and her husband are the new owners of the Waverley Hotel, and she feels businesses in Cumberland suffered from not having the Big Time Out in the village.

McClellan says they started to feel really stressed out on Thursday right before the festival, and they still don’t know what the fallout will be, but their neighbours were “fabulous.”

“Basically, Royston rescued The Big Time Out, and I hope the residents of Royston feel appreciated because they stepped up,” she said.

McClellan missed Bedouin Soundclash’s performance Friday night because she had to put her three boys to bed, but she could hear them from the house, and she says other highlights were the Boom Booms, Kim Churchill, Dub FX, Emily Spiller and Wil.

“I just love seeing raw talent like that,” she said. “It was amazing seeing that and seeing all the kids.”

On Monday morning, McClellan felt happy with the way festival-goers treated their home.

“Once we gave the permission, we had to let go,” she said. “You can’t stress about anything. We just made the decision we couldn’t control it afterwards.”

The scaled-down Big Time Out did not have a beer garden as in past years, and the crowds were monitored, as Cumberland Village Works did not need a permit if fewer than 1,000 people attended.

Schulman says the vendors really liked the event and did really well, and the artists were very happy to be there.

“As an event populated by young people in the 19 to 25 range, they came and they were totally stoked,” he said. “It was a different kind of thing in its entirety and more where we want to be artistically. Ultimately, we had no naysayers in terms of the people who were there. We appreciated the involvement of the RCMP, who made sure if anything cropped up, they were right there to handle it. The police were there to do their job, and they did it well. We were very impressed.”

Schulman says that with their new location, there was less chance for people to sneak in and less tailgating.

“This was probably the most respectful crowd we’ve had,” he said. “We felt a lot less under the microscope. I think we had four fence jumpers compared to 500 last year. I’m really stoked it happened with so much love and care.”

Schulman says there were some citations for open alcohol on the streets, and there were some parking issues, but the festival went well overall, and he heard from some of the neighbours who said they appreciated the care and concern that was shown to them.

“Hats off to everybody in the neighbourhood who really helped,” he said.

For Schulman, this year’s Big Time Out had lots of magical moments.

“I so loved the Boom Booms,” he said. “They really encapsulated a young band communicating with the audience,” he said.

Schulman has seen Bedouin Soundclash many times over the years, and he says Friday night’s performance was the best show he’s seen them put on.

Schulman was impressed by aerialist Maddy Dunnett, who performed Friday night. She has performed at a Solstice event and at last year’s festival.

“It’s just beautiful to see someone who’s kind of grown up with her craft at our events,” he said.

The most touching moment for Schulman was when the McClellan family was introduced to the crowd Saturday night.

“The crowd was so enraptured,” he said. “There was lots of pressure on them from the RCMP, from the CVRD … they rose to every challenge. That was a magic moment when the crowd put a face to who was hosting the event.”

Without a beer garden, Schulman noticed that more young families stayed all night.

“I’ve not seen such a dramatic difference in how people respond to music, especially at the end of the night,” he said. “No families I’ve talked to were uncomfortable. I feel like a couple things combined to make this conducive to families with young kids.”

Schulman hadn’t spoken to the CVRD yet on Monday, but in general, he felt the patrons were really respectful, and he says in general, the neighbouring farms said they had no problems.

“There were a lot of beautiful moments we didn’t expect,” he said. “It was a little easier for people to just relax. There was no major rowdiness at all. For this year, this was a really positive, uplifting solution to the challenges we were having for the last three weeks.”

The Comox Valley RCMP did not have to deal with anything earth-shattering or dramatic during the Big Time Out, according to Const. Nicole Hall.

“We did have some liquor infractions,” she said. “We dealt mostly with stuff off-site. We had some extra resources, and they handed out tickets where needed.”

Some vehicles were towed because they were parked illegally.

“Other than that, it was nothing out of the ordinary for a Friday and Saturday night,” said Hall. “Some of the neighbours may have a different opinion, but from what was reported to us, it was pretty much maintained by the officers who were there and the people who were running it.”

Derald Lewis, manager of bylaw compliance and special investigations for the CVRD, says the Big Time Out went quite smoothly.

“From a bylaw perspective, it went really well,” he said. “As far as bylaws, there were no major issues. We haven’t had any complaints at all.”

The CVRD attended the event Friday and Saturday night to monitor the noise and count the crowd and worked closely with the RCMP, explained Lewis, adding they also worked closely with the organizers and told them exactly what their concerns were.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Erin Chan accepted her prize of a Staycation at The Kingfisher valued at $500, for winning the  Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest. Photo by Nicole Fowler
Winner announced in Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest

Erin Chan has been named the grand prize winner of the Discover… Continue reading

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

A non-profit society hopes to keep musical theatre alive this summer in… Continue reading

The development permit application is for the back of a property at 2522 Dunsmuir Ave. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Privacy, heritage reasons for secondary house denial in Cumberland

Majority of council wants to see something more in line with Camp Road’s character

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The Connect Warming Centre has been operating as an emergency overnight shelter in recent weeks. File photo
Grant funds would provide urgent, temporary support to homeless in Comox Valley

At its April 13 meeting, the Comox Valley Regional District board agreed… Continue reading

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The 5th Street Bridge Project, which began April 14, is expected to take 6 months to complete. Scott Stanfield photo
5th Street Bridge Project begins in Courtenay

The 5th Street Bridge rehabilitation project began Thursday in Courtenay. The $6.5… Continue reading

Most Read