Big Time Out Festival will happen — but not in Cumberland

The show will go on — but not at Village Park where The Big Time Out is normally held in August.
At an in-camera meeting Monday, Cumberland council unanimously voted to deny a Cumberland Village Works application to hold the Aug. 12 and 13 music festival in the village because the RCMP is "unable to recommend the event proceed this year," acting chief administrative officer Dave Durrant stated in a Wednesday press release.

vig Schulman is working hard to ensure the 2011 Big Time Out festival happens in the Comox Valley.

vig Schulman is working hard to ensure the 2011 Big Time Out festival happens in the Comox Valley.

The show will go on — but not at Village Park where The Big Time Out is normally held in August.  At an in-camera meeting Monday, Cumberland council unanimously voted to deny a Cumberland Village Works application to hold the Aug. 12 and 13 music festival in the village because the RCMP is “unable to recommend the event proceed this year,” acting chief administrative officer Dave Durrant stated in a Wednesday press release. Cumberland Mayor Fred Bates said festival organizers failed to submit security and other information required to approve the application in time. “There’s been at least three deadlines set since May,” Bates said, noting the last deadline was July 20. “We kept extending the deadline because we wanted it to happen…They failed to have the security issue before the police for us to approve it.”The village office felt the public’s wrath when word spread about the denied application. “They (Cumberland residents) are tromping into Dave Durrant’s office,” festival artistic director vig Schulman said Wednesday. “He can’t accept all the people. There’s a big push afoot to try and get everybody to rescind.”The event, however, will proceed “full steam ahead” — on a smaller scale without alcohol — at an alternate venue outside but near Cumberland.  “Because it’s no longer in the village they (RCMP) don’t have to supply all the extra officers,” said Schulman, who could not yet disclose the venue. “They’ve told us the things they want us to have in place to ensure they have very little to do.”Schulman notes the venue change will negatively impact the business community in Cumberland.He also notes council has the final say in the matter, despite the wording of the press release.”We’re hiring the best and most professional security company, Live Host from Vancouver,” said Schulman, mindful of last weekend’s tragedy near the entrance to Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay where 19-year-old James Denton was fatally stabbed by a 16-year-old. The incident followed a music festival at the Exhibition Grounds. “The RCMP has a lot on their plate right now. They need to do what they need to do to protect and secure the village. It was really a question of who wanted to or was willing to take final responsibility.” In seven years of previous dealings with the RCMP and council, Schulman said the flexibility that had been a trademark of both groups did not exist this year. That said, he respects both parties. “There’s no adversarials here,” said Schulman, who has organized 800-plus events in the Valley in the past 25 years. “This is a community; we all live in it together. They want the best for the community in the way that they have been given the capacity, and security is an issue.”He empathizes with the positions of Bates and Comox Valley RCMP Insp. Tom Gray. “I understand all the extenuating circumstances,” Schulman said. “Everybody’s doing what they have to do here.” Bates said past festivals have caused “major issues” outside the venue following the music.”We’ve been trying to resolve that for a few years,” he said, noting police have told organizers the setup was poor.”Council has, I think, bent over backwards to try and make it happen, but there’s a limit…I think all of council liked The Big Time Out, per se,” Bates said. “I know some people will be upset, but the fact is they shouldn’t blame the RCMP or the Village.”Gray said the security plan contained “hiccups” in terms of missed dates. Like Bates, he also notes issues — namely drunk and disorderly conduct, and people feeling threatened and unsafe in their homes — that have occurred in the village at previous festivals. “Also I have to express some concern over the fact that we had this murder last weekend,” Gray said. “There are some exceedingly raw emotions that are outstanding. There is some understandable anger about what went on. Public occasions such as this would be very difficult to keep a lid on if something went wrong.”Gray notes the private property for the new venue will feature a “shrunk-down,” dry event. Though not sanctioning the festival, RCMP will provide support with additional police in the area.”We’re still going to be the ones ultimately responsible for public safety,” Gray said.reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Co-ordinator/founder David Clarke, right, is pictured with members of Comox Valley Street Outreach during Monday’s rig dig. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley group aims to stop overdose deaths, reduce stigma

As the overdose crisis worsens throughout B.C., a local advocacy group is… Continue reading

London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings. Screenshot, London Drugs
Courtenay London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings

A number of locations in Western Canada selected to give vaccine

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Wildfire burning in remote area near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating cause, but confirms it is human-caused

Volunteers paint the famous Denman Island Graffiti Fence with messages for Earth Week. Photo by Danni Crenna
Denman Island celebrates Earth Week

The Denman Island Climate Action Network (DICAN) has kicked off Earth Week… Continue reading

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

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

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read